Updates for Donations
Retirees Sharon and Larry Beeman got to know DC Central Kitchen the way they got to know many charitable organizations: through benefit events. They attended DC Central Kitchen’s second-ever Capital Food Fight in 2005, and have been deeply engaged with DC Central Kitchen as donors ever since.
“At some point we were invited to come for a tour of DC Central Kitchen after we attended our first Capital Food Fight,” remembers Larry. “What struck us most was seeing the graduates of the Culinary Job Training program who were employed at the Kitchen. You could see they had a developed a real career with real skills and real discipline.”
As Larry and Sharon got to know DC Central Kitchen and its programs, they realized that their financial contributions made a tangible impact in the community. In 2011, they made the weighty decision to include DC Central Kitchen in their will.
“At one point we asked ourselves, ‘Where would these men and women be without DC Central Kitchen?’ As we were choosing organizations to include in our estate plans, we knew DC Central Kitchen was one of them.”-Sharon Beeman
Larry adds, “Since we first included charities in our will in 2011, we’ve made the strategic decision to increase our impact by supporting fewer organizations with a larger portion of our estate. DC Central Kitchen rose to the top of that short list very quickly over the past few years. We’ve always been so impressed with how well informed we’re kept of how our support is used and how well we’ve been treated by the staff.”
In fact, just about every staff member at DC Central Kitchen knows the Beemans. They are frequent attendees at many DC Central Kitchen events, from fundraisers like the Capital Food Fight and Sips & Suppers to the quarterly graduations of the Culinary Job Training program. “Going to graduation is the highlight of our week. Really!” Sharon insists. “Talking to the graduates and learning where they’ve been and where they’re going with their new skills is inspiring.” Larry adds, “We wish more of DC Central Kitchen’s supporters would join us at graduations!”
DC Central Kitchen is launching a planned giving society to honor our donors who have chosen to include us in their estate plans. If you would like to join the Beemans in making a legacy commitment to DC Central Kitchen, or if you already have included DC Central Kitchen in your will, please contact Amanda Butts, Donor Relations Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-847-0221.
So much of what we do at DC Central Kitchen is powered by lots of “small” contributions, whether they’re annual family donations, monthly recurring gifts, orders of our Fresh Start Catering boxed lunches, or purchases of our affordable, fresh produce in DC corner stores. These investments are our lifeblood—and very “big” in our book.
But today, we wanted to let everyone know that we’re looking for an angel donor.
We went to the DCCK whiteboard of innovative ideas and put together the best of what we’ve been putting off for lack of funds. These are projects we could start in a matter of weeks, not months or years. An investment of $1 million would allow us to accomplish the meaningful goals below, and sustain our long-term impact:
- Close the Meals Gap. Every day, we produce 5,000 meals for 88 partner agencies and nonprofits, of which 25% are subsidized by the programs that receive them. Additional funds here would dramatically improve meal quality, allow us to provide more tailored, suitable options to partner agencies (for vegetarians, seniors, or specific ethnic groups) and, if necessary, increase the quantity of what we prepare.
- Provide Transitional Employment and Job Retention Support. Some of our culinary graduates have been hit hard by employers who have cut back their hours. Others are caught in a trap between leaving welfare behind and initially making enough at minimum wage jobs to pay rent and meet basic needs. Providing continued case management to our grads in the workplace and helping them maintain full-time employment will break the cycle of poverty.
- Build a Value-Added Production and Processing Line. Our Healthy Corners program is doubling in size to more than 60 participating stores this summer, and we’re hustling to keep up with growing demand for our nutritious products. Modern processing and packaging equipment will help us double our production of high-quality snacks and meal items for low-income consumers on the go.
- Pay Living Wages to Culinary Grads Employed at DCCK. DC’s living wage went up, rightfully, by more than a dollar this spring. We’re dedicated to meeting this standard without scaling back on staff—but this increase requires a $160,000 jump in our annual payroll. Investing in quality wages will reduce staff turnover, support productivity, and empower our graduates to build real, family-supporting careers. We will dedicate our evaluation team to measuring the programmatic impact of living wages in the coming year and reporting back on what these wages mean to at-risk individuals and families.
- Update Our Struggling IT Infrastructure. We’re doing the best we can with refurbished desktops, an outdated database, and spotty Internet connections. Fixing these shortcomings would dramatically improve our efficiency and drive dollars currently spent on chronic maintenance issues and bootstrapped solutions toward our social programs.
So, are you an angel donor? Do you know one? Help us spread the word about this powerful, immediate opportunity to invest in a proven social enterprise that is changing lives and empowering communities on an industrial scale.
Let’s find this angel donor, together!
For more information, email Alex Moore at email@example.com.
DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) has partnered with Walmart and NewsChannel 8 to develop an innovative response to hunger and poor eating habits in the District of Columbia. From June 16 – June 20, ‘Home Cooking Versus Hunger Week’ will raise community awareness about the health benefits of home cooking while giving Washingtonians the chance to contribute directly to DCCK programs that combat hunger and enhance healthier living.
The summer is a difficult period for many DC families facing hunger, since children are home from school and rely on parents to provide additional meals. ‘Home Cooking Versus Hunger Week’ is made possible by a gift from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation.
The generosity of Walmart and the creativity of NewsChannel 8 will allow DC Central Kitchen to obtain vital supplies and donations this summer.
Summer is an especially challenging time for those of us who care about hunger, because even though need goes up, charitable donations are usually very slow at this time of year.
Throughout the week, DCCK and Walmart will be running joint Public Service Announcements (PSAs) produced by NewsChannel 8’s creative team. The PSAs airing on NewsChannel 8 will promote healthy home cooking and the opportunity to participate in ‘Home Cooking Versus Hunger Week’ by visiting both Walmart locations in Washington, DC (99 H Street NW and 5929 Georgia Avenue NW). DCCK and Walmart representatives will also be appearing on NewsChannel 8’s morning talk show, Let’s Talk Live, from Monday through Thursday to raise community awareness, teach healthy cooking techniques, and share information on DCCK’s programs.
Customers at both DC Walmart locations will have the opportunity to attend healthy cooking demonstrations conducted in the stores by DCCK staff. These demonstrations will be held on Tuesday, June 17 at the H St. location and Friday, June 20 at the Georgia Ave location from 12pm to 1pm. Walmart customers will also be able to purchase select scratch-cooking ingredients on DCCK’s behalf and donate them directly to the organization upon check-out or make cash donations to DCCK at each register.
Corporate social responsibility is more than a buzzword—it’s a powerful way of growing your business, engaging your employees, and investing in the community we call home. Here in the Washington, DC region, there are thousands of groups doing good, which can make selecting charitable partners difficult.
DC Central Kitchen has been changing lives in our community for 25 years, and we’re here to help you make a meaningful difference where you live and work.
We are a nationally acclaimed nonprofit organization that fights hunger by preparing 5,000 healthy meals for hungry community members each day while training unemployed women and men for careers in the culinary industry. Our empowering model doesn’t believe in hand outs. We offer our at-risk neighbors a hand up, shortening this city’s line of hungry people by the way we feed it.
We don’t think nonprofits should rely totally on hand outs, either. We earn 60% of our annual income through social enterprises, employing our very own culinary graduates to serve healthy school meals, provide corporate catering, and deliver nutritious snacks to corner stores in low-income neighborhoods. DC Central Kitchen makes the most of our donors’ dollars by running our operations with the efficiency of a business—it’s just that our primary service is changing lives.
In our Corporate Social Responsibility Packet, you’ll learn about the many ways DC Central Kitchen can help you meet your CSR goals. Whether you’re interested in volunteering in our kitchen, ordering our catering, or attending our famous events, your company can help us fight hunger and poverty in our community in the ways that make the most sense for you.
For more information, please contact:
Alexander Moore, Director of Development: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) is providing DC Central Kitchen with a $250,000 grant to double the number of stores participating in Healthy Corners. Healthy Corners is the first program of its kind aimed at combating food deserts and making healthier food more available in DC’s low income communities. Since 2011, DC Central Kitchen has partnered with 33 corner stores to provide fresh produce and healthy snacks at the stores, which are often the closest affordable grocery option. With the DSLBD grant, DC Central Kitchen will expand the program to 63 stores this summer.
The grant will help DC Central Kitchen continue its important work of providing the District’s underserved communities with healthy food. DC Central Kitchen has been instrumental in leveraging their resources to provide valuable services to vulnerable populations, and we are very grateful for their work.
The agency’s partnership with DC Central Kitchen began two years ago when they funded the initial rollout of the program through a six-month pilot period. The program has since worked with many partners, including DC Department of Health, CoBANK, Kaiser Permanente, Aetna, NBC Universal, Tavis Smiley-UMD, Wallace Genetic Foundation and the McGuinn Family Foundation. By providing strategic marketing support and heavily discounted product, Healthy Corners has brought DC’s corner stores into the healthy food business. In 2013, the participating stores grossed over $40,000 in sales and sold over 7,500 nutritious snacks.
Today represents a proven approach to public-private partnerships in D.C. Thanks to the Department of Small and Local Business Development, we now have the resources to expand into new neighborhoods, making healthy food more affordable and accessible to District residents.
Visit our Healthy Corners page for more information about the program.
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