Combating Hunger, Creating Opportunity

DC Central Kitchen is America's leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise.
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Combat hunger in someone’s honor

, February 5th, 2016

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A gift to DC Central Kitchen is a truly meaningful way pay tribute to someone or a special occasion. Your gift in honor or in memory of loved one, friend, or coworker will support DC Central Kitchen’s holistic meal distribution and job training programs.

Make your tribute gift today!

Please mail this form with your donation, and send your donation to our deposit box:

DC Central Kitchen
PO Box 417406
Boston, MA 02241-7406

The most direct and safest way to send your donation to DC Central Kitchen is to mail it to our deposit box. Mail sent to our physical address (425 Second Street NW) is sorted first in a mail room serving several nonprofits, before reaching our own mail room. Checks sent to our deposit box are deposited directly into our account, allowing us to put your donation to work right away.

 



Not even a blizzard can stop us

, January 27th, 2016

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You’ve heard us say before that DC Central Kitchen never closes – and we don’t. During Storm Jonas, our staff and volunteers went beyond our normal meal commitments last weekend to provide more than 20,000 healthy meals and snacks for our neighbors in need. Friday through Saturday, our kitchen was open and in full operation.

On Saturday during the height of the blizzard, the Red Cross contacted us to provide 400 meals for an emergency shelter. We jumped into high gear and prepared not only a hot meal for Saturday night, but thanks to a generous donation from the Capital Area Food Bank of 25,000 KIND Bars, were also able send out healthy snacks for Sunday morning.

On Saturday night when our normal snow removal team suffered a broken snow plow, we worked with the Mayor’s office and District government to get our driveway cleared, while our staff recruited some fearless volunteers to help shovel out our trucks on Sunday morning. This team effort allowed us to deliver our regular meal count of 5,000 meals on Sunday afternoon.

Outside of the Kitchen, our annual two-day joint fundraiser with fellow nonprofit Martha’s Table, Sips & Suppers, was also scheduled to take place last weekend. Out of concern for the safety of our guests and partner restaurants, our team and the team at Martha’s Table acted quickly to postpone Saturday’s event and secure a new date for Sips, which will now take place this coming Saturday, January 30 at the Newseum. Most Suppers, which were scheduled to take place on Sunday evening at more than 30 homes throughout DC, will be rescheduled to a later date, and a select few hosts soldiered on and hosted the festive fine dining occasion at their homes despite the weather. We are incredibly grateful to our partner chefs who spend their own time and money to prepare for this event – and who have gone out of their way to keep their commitment to DCCK and Martha’s Table despite the date change.

Rain, sleet, snow, or shine, DC Central Kitchen never closes. We would not be able to continue our work to nourish our neighbors and provide hope for the hopeless if it weren’t for our dedicated staff, volunteers, and supporters. Thanks to our fellow #hungerfighters who stood by us to get the job done. Hunger doesn’t take a snow day. And, thanks to the support of so many in our community, neither do we.



The best DCCK grad story of the year

, November 13th, 2015

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In the days that followed our 100th graduation this summer, one notably inspiring story made its way around the organization.

Earl was a student of Class 100 who came to DCCK from a halfway house after spending 13 years in prison. You can’t miss him in a room — over 6 feet tall with a big build and a long beard, Earl’s smile is genuine and disarming. After incarceration, he was committed to making a career as a cook, and he approached our Culinary Job Training Program with diligence and enthusiasm. You could find Earl at any event that called for Class 100 student volunteers. In June, he even took to the outdoor grills at the Lamb Jam, a tasting event and competition that brings together talented chefs to compete for the Best Lamb Dish, to help one of the chefs keep up with demand at his tasting booth.

To commemorate our 100th graduation, DCCK was fortunate enough to receive a matching pledge of $10,000 from past and current board members, with a goal of raising another $10,000 in donations both at the ceremony and online in the days that followed.

That afternoon, Earl’s family was seated comfortably in the front row. His mother, easily recognizable given her similarly identifiable smile, was emotional before the ceremony got underway. After the announcement of our board match at the ceremony, several guests handed reply envelopes with their gifts to members of DCCK’s Development team.

A few hours later, our donor relations manager came across one particular envelope that contained a $100 bill and a short, handwritten note. “I’ve been carrying around this lucky $100 for 13 years,” the note said. “I don’t need it anymore.”

The note and generous gift was from Earl’s mother. She held on to that bill the entire time Earl was incarcerated, and on the day of his graduation from DC Central Kitchen, Earl’s mother passed on that luck to the men and women who will come to DCCK after him.

Of all of the gifts we received that day, this is the one that matters most. Earl is now employed full-time, making a living wage of $14.05/hour with full benefits as a cook at DC Central Kitchen. While we’ll never know how much luck that $100 provided, Earl’s hard work and dedication made for plenty of luck on its own.  Earl has a job, a family he can spend time with, and a mother whose love for her son is truly unwavering. She retired last week, at a party attended by Earl’s culinary instructors; ending her career the same week Earl launched his.

Thank you to everyone who made a gift in honor of our 100th class. It is a milestone that represents years of hard work and changed lives for over 1,000 men and women who have come through DCCK since 1990.

To Earl’s mother – thank you for believing in your son and for supporting DC Central Kitchen through this heartfelt and generous gift.


 

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as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.

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The best DCCK grad story of the year

, July 29th, 2015

Earl pass web story photo

We’ve been sharing a lot recently about our 100th graduation and DCCK’s role as job creators in our community. Graduations are inspiring for lots of reasons, not just because of what the day represents for the men and women who complete the program. In the days that followed our 100th graduation, one notably inspiring story made its way around the organization.

Earl was a student of Class 100 who came to DCCK from a halfway house after spending 13 years in prison. You can’t miss him in a room — over 6 feet tall with a big build and a long beard, Earl’s smile is genuine and disarming. After incarceration, he was committed to making a career as a cook, and he approached our Culinary Job Training Program with diligence and enthusiasm. You could find Earl at any event that called for Class 100 student volunteers. In June, he even took to the outdoor grills at the Lamb Jam, a tasting event and competition that brings together talented chefs to compete for the Best Lamb Dish, to help one of the chefs keep up with demand at his tasting booth.

To commemorate our 100th graduation, DCCK was fortunate enough to receive a matching pledge of $10,000 from past and current board members, with a goal of raising another $10,000 in donations both at the ceremony and online in the days that followed.

That afternoon, Earl’s family was seated comfortably in the front row. His mother, easily recognizable given her similarly identifiable smile, was emotional before the ceremony got underway. After the announcement of our board match at the ceremony, several guests handed reply envelopes with their gifts to members of DCCK’s Development team.

A few hours later, our donor relations manager came across one particular envelope that contained a $100 bill and a short, handwritten note. “I’ve been carrying around this lucky $100 for 13 years,” the note said. “I don’t need it anymore.”

The note and generous gift was from Earl’s mother. She held on to that bill the entire time Earl was incarcerated, and on the day of his graduation from DC Central Kitchen, Earl’s mother passed on that luck to the men and women who will come to DCCK after him.

Of all of the gifts we received that day, this is the one that matters most. Earl is now employed full-time, making a living wage of $14.05/hour with full benefits as a cook at DC Central Kitchen. While we’ll never know how much luck that $100 provided, Earl’s hard work and dedication made for plenty of luck on its own.  Earl has a job, a family he can spend time with, and a mother whose love for her son is truly unwavering. She retired last week, at a party attended by Earl’s culinary instructors; ending her career the same week Earl launched his.

Thank you to everyone who made a gift in honor of our 100th class. It is a milestone that represents years of hard work and changed lives for over 1,000 men and women who have come through DCCK since 1990.

To Earl’s mother – thank you for believing in your son and for supporting DC Central Kitchen through this heartfelt and generous gift.



Join DCCK on June 4 for #DoMore24

, May 19th, 2015

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As a proud member of the United Way of the National Capital Area, DC Central Kitchen will again participate in the third annual Do More 24 fundraiser on Thursday, June 4. This one-day fundraiser is a local movement that encourages our community to contribute to local causes and organizations to solve our region’s most pressing challenges. More than 500 nonprofits that serve in D.C., Maryland and Virginia will participate this year.

There are several ways you can get involved and support DC Central Kitchen’s Do More 24 campaign:

1. Donate.  Visit our dedicated fundraising page. We’re hoping to raise $10,000 – the cost to support one student through our life-changing Culinary Job Training program.

2. Come to our event! On Thursday, June 4 from 5-7pm, DCCK will host our very own #DoMore24 happy hour at the Gordon Biersch located in Gallery Place (900 F Street, NW). Enjoy free passed appetizers and proceeds from the “charity keg” benefit the campaign. Come get some free swag, eat and drink with friends, and support Do More 24!

3. Tell your friends! Invite your personal networks to join us on June 4! The more the merrier.

3. Keep following us! While we’re on several social platforms, most of our #DoMore24 updates will live on Twitter. Retweets welcome!

As always, thank you for supporting DC Central Kitchen. We hope you’ll join us on June 4 and give where you live.

 

 

 



DCCK helps kick off 20th season of the USDA’s Farmers Market

, May 4th, 2015

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On Friday, DC Central Kitchen joined Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Anne Alonzo at the opening ceremony of the USDA Farmers Market. Located near the National Mall on 12th Street and Independence Ave SW, the market now includes more than 30 vendors and is open every Friday from 9am to 2pm through October 30, 2015.

The USDA Farmers Market plays an important role in creating economic opportunities for local farmers, and DCCK was honored to be a part of this event that celebrated that relationship. In the last fiscal year alone, DCCK invested $153,378 in local farms by purchasing more than 200,000 pounds of produce for our meals.

In addition to our local purchasing power, DCCK often gleans from DC area Farmers Markets, collecting leftover produce and unsold product that we can process with the help of volunteers in our industrial kitchen located just blocks from the United States Capitol. We will continue to glean product from the USDA Farmers Market this year as well.

To commemorate our longstanding relationship between DC Central Kitchen and the USDA Farmers Market, returning vendor Great Harvest Bread donated 100 loaves of honey whole wheat bread to DCCK after the opening ceremony.

If you haven’t checked out the stands at 12th and Independence, be sure to drop this season and support our local farmers!