I’m Toni Duclottni also known as The Kitchen Bae and founder of Dorcas House. Dorcas House is an organization that I simply formed to feed the homeless premium lunches. You’re probably asking yourself what does she mean by premium? As a kid growing up I used to look forward to the holidays and not just because of gifts or seeing my family, it was because my mom would order a ham from The HoneyBaked Ham store and turkeys from Greenberg Smoked Turkeys. I guess you can say I’ve kind of always been a foodie. It was such a treat for us that I continued this tradition with my own kids as an adult.
This past Christmas it was just my youngest son and me, so I ordered a honey-baked ham. We had so much ham left over that I couldn’t fathom the thought of throwing it out and being so wasteful. Long story short, we were able to make 15 lunches and feed 15 people the day after Christmas. This was such a very deeply impactful moment for both my son and I. It was incredible experience overall. I knew at that moment, this is why I moved to Vegas. This is my calling.
In the Las Vegas area, there are roughly 30,000 homeless people. Almost 6,000 of those people actually sleep on the streets. In my opinion, that’s an epidemic and something has to be done.
“I think we have like, 4 or 5 people up top so I’m gonna drop some bags off.”
Each of our premium lunches includes one sandwich made from HoneyBaked Ham or Greenberg Smoked Turkeys. They also include a mandarin, a trail mix bar, a bottle of water, condiments as well as wet wipes. Recently we’ve been able to add hygiene kits to the mix, which include things like tampons, razors toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, lotion, and things of that nature; things that we sometimes take for granted.
This part is hard for me to talk about. So, I know people are probably wondering: Why spend all that money on a HoneyBaked Ham or Greenberg Turkey when you can use that money to buy cheaper meat and make more sandwiches to feed more people. I understand that thought. Before I moved here to Vegas when I was living in LA, I used to volunteer with New Friends Homeless Center where we would feed homeless people a sit-down dinner and just really cater to them. It was such an amazing experience and I knew that, that was a soft spot in my heart. A
After getting to know some of them and talking with them, their number one issue was being ignored and overlooked. I feel like giving them a premium lunch says, “Hey, I see you. I acknowledge you and I think you’re amazing I think you deserve this amazing meal.” So, that’s why I can’t compromise on the meat; it’s a part of the whole program and organization. It’s pouring into them and sharing the love that they deserve. So, I can’t compromise on the meat and I’m going to keep doing this until I can’t do it anymore.
This entire operation right now is being funded out of my pocket; which I’m so thankful and blessed to have the opportunity to be able to do that. But I would love to see this grow and to be able to reach more people. We are currently reaching about 80 people a month. I would love to see that triple or quadruple or tenfold. But I can’t do that without you. I’ve managed to get the cost down to about $2.80 per lunch and $2 for each hygiene kit. That’s less than $5. I mean there’s some designer gourmet cups of coffee that cost more than that.
So, if there’s anything that you could give we will take anything, whether it be $0.50, $.75, $75, it could be $10.
Thank you in advance for your donations. I am so grateful and appreciative of your generosity. Hopefully, with your help we will be able to take this model and take it across the entire country and Stamping Out Hunger, One Premium Lunch at a Time.