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Karma Kitchen's No Check Policy

[Originally published at In The Capital.]

Imagine a restaurant where there's a no check policy and in its place is an invitation to pay it forward for those that dine after you. Though strangers in line, you're asked to give a contribution as a gift to the person waiting behind you to compensate for their meal. That's what Karma Kitchen is all about, the serving of meals through the generosity of others.

The last Sunday of each month, Karma Kitchen opens up its doors form 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. for those who reside in the D.C. area. While on the outside it appears to be the traditional Himalayan Heritage Restaurant we've all grown accustomed to walking by in Adams Morgan, once you enter you'll find one of the most heartwarming depictions of pure goodness in the District. Smiles, good food, kindred spirits, Karma Kitchen provides for an atmosphere you can't help but want to be around at all times.

Meals at Karma Kitchen are cooked and served by people who believe in the pay it forward ideology. This selflessness exhibited by both servers and consumers "helps to create a future that moves from transaction to trust, from self-oriented isolation to shared commitment, and from fear of scarcity to celebration of abundance." In a city that perpetuates a politically headstrong personality, Karma Kitchen is a welcome breath of fresh air, an initiative that grounds you in a District known for its high-strung drama.

Krishna Desar, one of the co-founders of Karma Kitchen in DC put it best:

"Karma Kitchen is about reminding us that we can come from a space of abundance which cannot be counted by the number of dollars in our pocket, but can only be felt from the warmth in our heart."

Each month brings a new set of guests and volunteers to the table, a unique group of individuals who make the Karma Kitchen experience unforgettable every time. It has already supplied 36,850 meals since it first launched on March 31, 2007 in Berkeley, California and will continue to grow as a self-driven charity-like restaurant for years to come.

With tomorrow, June 30, marking the last Sunday of the month, Karma Kitchen is due to set up shop once again for lunch. I'm going with a couple of my friends, and I advise you to do so as well. If not for the food or to support the mission, then to get yourself out of your comfort zone to realize that there's more to D.C. than the suits and the never ending work days. We too can be a part of a movement dedicated to inspire the spirit of service in others.


Hope to see you there!

--Molly Greenberg on Jul 1, 2013

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