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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Updates for Healthy Corners

Home Cooking vs. Hunger Week: Let’s Talk Live Videos

, June 20th, 2014

Check out our staff on Let’s Talk Live this week, featuring our efforts to fight hunger and promote healthy eating. We’re excited to be part of this Home Cooking vs. Hunger Week. A huge thanks to Walmart and NewsChannel 8 for promoting our work.

Truck Farm Season Starts

, June 12th, 2014
Truck Farm

DCCK’s Truck Farm at Thomas Elementary with Huan Song leading a lesson.

This month marks the roll out of DC Central Kitchen’s Truck Farm, and we’re excited to be delivering our nutrition education lessons to children around the city to teach them about healthy eating and where their food comes from.

Truck Farm is exactly what it sounds like—a pick-up truck with a garden planted in its bed. Our partnership with the USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, allows us to take the farm to the ten schools where we serve healthy school lunches in wards 5, 7, and 8. The whole idea is that kids can see, touch, and learn about healthy food in an interesting and dynamic way that will make an impact because it’s fun and different.

“Let’s go around and say our name, favorite fruit, and favorite vegetable. What’s yours?” asked Huan Song, DCCK’s Nutrition and Outreach Coordinator turning to one of the seven years olds gathered around the truck farm, parked at Thomas Elementary School in Deanwood, located in D.C.’s Ward 7.

The Truck Farm inspires the kids to come up with creative places to investigate nature, whether by growing a small plant on their window sills or even in an old can. After checking out the Truck Farm, Thomas Elementary students planted their own arugula seeds in plastic cups to start their own urban gardens.

“I’m really excited about Truck Farm’s fourth growing season,” says Huan. Like previous years, the Truck Farm educators will bring our mobile classroom to community health events, schools, and summer care programs in order to connect children with the process of growing food. In addition to our focus on nutrition education through hands on learning, the curriculum this year will also expand to integrate language arts education through our partnership with the DC Public Library.

The Truck Farm program continues to partner with DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy School Food and Healthy Corners Programs in order to reinforce our organization’s multifaceted approach to nutrition education and community empowerment. We’re excited to see where it goes next! Follow @dcck on Twitter for the latest updates.

Healthy Corners Doubling Number of Stores This Summer

, May 30th, 2014
Healthy Corners

DCCK has partnered with Zenful Bites to conduct outreach events at each new store opening.

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. - Robert Summers, Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development.

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. – Michael F. Curtin, Jr., CEO, DC Central Kitchen

Visit our Healthy Corners page for more information about the program.

Healthy Corners Opens New Store, Partners with Zenful Bites

, May 8th, 2014
Healthy Corners opens 35th Store

From the left: Jin Oh (Owner of Northeast Supermarket), Josephine Chu (Zenful Bites), Huan Song (DC Central Kitchen)

Healthy Corners is growing! We recently welcomed Northeast Supermarket on Mt. Olivet Road, NE as our 35th Healthy Corners store.

Jin Oh, the owner of Northeast Supermarket, says that she was interested in joining Healthy Corners for three reasons: convenience, good fresh products and good prices.

I want to be able to make sure that my customers have access to fruits and vegetables here in the neighborhood. I feel like everyone likes fresh foods and we need to have them here in our store. Your program makes that easy to do.
- Jin Oh

To introduce shoppers to the Healthy Corners program and products, our partners at Zenful Bites hosted an on-site cooking demonstration, serving up a broccoli, pepper and onion stir fry, handing out samples in the parking lot.

The stir fry was a crowd pleaser and customers were happy to learn that they could now find fresh ingredients like those used along with recipes for using them in their neighborhood store.
One enthusiastic customer helped draw reluctant friends and neighbors over to the demonstration, saying, “Come here and try this if you want to learn about eating the type of food that will help you stay healthy and watch your weight,” as she helped pass out samples.

This summer we will continue to open new stores each week. Stay tuned with the latest on Healthy Corners!

Healthy Corners Info for Consumers

, April 29th, 2014

What is Healthy Corners?
Healthy Corners is DC Central Kitchen’s program to provide fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy snacks to corner stores near you.

We provide staples for healthy snacking and cooking, including: apples, bananas, grapes, greens, lemons, lettuce, onions, oranges, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, trail mix, and more.

The average price of a Healthy Corners food item is .55 cents! This can be significantly cheaper than what you’d find at a conventional supermarket. Healthy Corners makes eating healthy convenient and affordable.

General Information
Info for Corner Store Owners

Store Locations
Check out this map for the nearest Healthy Corners store location.

Healthy Corners Products
Check out these delicious fresh products for sale in participating stores. More to come!

cucumbersgreen applesgreen pepperslemonslimesorangespotatoesred applesred grapefruitred onionsred peppersspinachsweet potatoestomatoesyellow onionsbrown riceapple a day bagstrail mixcut fruit

Healthy Corners Info for Store Owners

, April 29th, 2014

Healthy Corners DeliveryYour store can be part of the healthy food movement by joining Healthy Corners, DC Central Kitchen’s program to bring affordable and convenient fresh produce and healthy snacks to your neighborhood. Healthy Corners provides many benefits to participating stores:

General Information
Info for Consumers

Use this form to inquire about bringing Healthy Corners to your store.