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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DC Central Kitchen

News for Meal Production

, April 10th, 2014

New Baking Operation Needs Your Support

William Farrell

William Farrell is leading up a new, innovative baking program at DC Central Kitchen.

William Ferrell came to DC Central Kitchen in 2010 after being released from prison. He was looking for a second chance, and the opportunity to turn his culinary passion into a job. He found that chance through the Culinary Job Training program, and today, William is a supervisor at DC Central Kitchen who oversees the production of thousands of meals each day.

William figured he could make our meals for afterschool programs more nutritious and less costly by doing more baking on-site and relying less on packaged, processed foods.

He began experimenting with our second-hand baking equipment in a cramped corner of our dry goods pantry, and he has since developed a number of healthy, kid-friendly recipes. Items like his pumpkin bread, which calls for less sugar and three times the water of traditional recipes, have been huge hits at the 35 afterschool programs for low-income children that rely on our meals.

Your gift today supports William’s healthy, innovative recipes that break the cycle of poverty and poor health.

William has more healthy recipes up his sleeve, but we can’t produce these nutritious items in the quantities we need without the right tools.

This is your chance to help to upgrade our kitchen and prepare better food for kids.

Thanks to a challenge grant from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, we’re already halfway to our fundraising goal to build this critical infrastructure, but we need your help to get the rest of the way.

Give today, and your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000.

Thanks for being a partner in our innovative solutions to combating hunger and promoting good health.

, March 11th, 2014

Serving The LGBT Community: Casa Ruby

Meal Distribution - Neil Deliverying Meals 2
The transgender community in D.C. faces some of the toughest challenges of the in the city with little support. Casa Ruby provides a safe space for everyone in the LGBT community, including transgenders. DC Central Kitchen helps Casa Ruby heal those in need by providing healthy lunches and dinners for anyone who comes in to Casa Ruby.

Ruby Corado opened Casa Ruby nearly two years ago because she felt that DC has little resources for the transgender community. However, she aims to go beyond the transgender community. Casa Ruby is a multicultural space that brings together different communities who might not otherwise meet. They provide social services, career training, and health services.

DC is a very gay friendly city, but no one thinks of gay immigrants. They have some of the highest unemployment and incarceration rates. They already have life challenges, and for us to feed them is an outreach of care.
– Ruby Corado, Executive Director of Casa Ruby

Casa Ruby runs solely on donations and volunteer outreach, so they welcome the additional support. Previously, they provided the meals themselves, but they struggled to provide healthful options, and often relied on hot dogs.

Providing healthy food for Casa Ruby helps its volunteers focus their energy elsewhere, and it’s clearly paying off well—the DC Center for the LGBT Community recently gave Ruby Corado an award for Community Service.

DCCK’s meals allow us to build community relations, their value is indispensable. And now we know that we are giving out good food.
– Ruby Corado

, January 21st, 2014

DC Central Kitchen’s New Year’s Resolutions

2014 marks DC Central Kitchen’s 25th Anniversary – and we’re proud of our real results from the past year. Looking forward, 2014 promises to be an exciting year where we can expand our impact and take on unfinished business. Here are some of our New Year’s Resolutions for this year:

Double Number Of Participating Healthy Corners Stores
Through new partnerships, we’re undertaking an ambitious goal: doubling the number of corner stores participating in our Healthy Corners program to make affordable healthy snacks and fresh produce more available in DC’s most food insecure neighborhoods.

Expand the Culinary Job Training Program
Last year, we expanded our Culinary Job Training Program to two new sites: N Street Village and Arlington County. This year, we will continue expanding our offsite programs to increase the number of students we train.

Promote Long-Term Progress of Culinary Grads
Once our graduates are employed, that’s not the end of their relationship with DC Central Kitchen! We continue to cultivate our community of Culinary Graduates to ensure they have the support network in place to stay employed. This year, we’ve made crucial investments to strengthen that support network with the recent additions of a full-time clinical social worker and retention coordinator.

Utilize Healthier Ingredients in Agency Meals
We at DC Central Kitchen believe that everyone deserves a quality, home-cooked meal! Our agency meals are healthier and higher in quality than ever before, and we want to continue that progress by incorporating more fresh ingredients and scratch preparation into the 5,000 meals we prepare every day for 88 DC nonprofits.

Hire More Graduates!
Our social enterprises provide many employment opportunities for our Culinary Grads – and this year, we plan to hire more as we expand our School Food and Healthy Corners programs.

, December 12th, 2013

A Season of Giving: Thanking Our Holiday Food Donors

Volunteers from the Washington Jewish Community Center helped prepare hundreds of side dishes for our Thanksgiving meals.

Volunteers from the Washington DC Jewish Community Center helped prepare hundreds of side dishes for our Thanksgiving meals.

DC Central Kitchen is always bustling with volunteers to help make the 5,000 meals we produce every day for local nonprofits. But the holidays are a particularly hard time for those who don’t have access to wholesome meals to share with their families. This Thanksgiving, volunteers stepped up their game, and helped create two memorable events to support our work and combat hunger in their community.

FreshFarm Markets partnered with DC Central Kitchen to raise over $2,500 at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market, which we used to purchase fresh, healthy produce from local farmers and merchants to use for our holiday meals. We were also touched that our friend José Andrés pledged $1,000 to support the food drive. Juliet Glass, FreshFarm’s Director of Markets and Programs, reflected on how the event also benefits farmers and shoppers:

It’s really great for the farmers, especially with the unpredictable weather, and it supports them in these last days before winter. It also gives shoppers a way to give back that incorporates fresh food and gives others who don’t ordinarily have the means to go to the market the chance to enjoy fresh produce, too.
- Juliet Glass, FreshFarm Markets

The 13th Annual Everything But The Turkey Event with the Washington DC Jewish Community Center attracted over 500 volunteers of all ages to prepare 20,000 servings of food for those in need in the DC metropolitan area. The volunteers did an impressive job, efficiently peeling potatoes and zesting oranges with gusto, and assembled 356 pans of Thanksgiving side dishes such as coleslaw, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and harvest bean salad in only a couple of hours.

Many thanks to our volunteers and food donors for their incredible support all year and especially in this season of giving to others.

Turkey Donations
Total Turkeys: 922

Performance Food Group (PFG)


Miller, Balis & O’Neil, PC

Cuisine Solution

Lockheed Martin

United Praise Youth Choir

UDC Law School

City Year DC


Amys, INC.

Boston Properties

M Powered Solutions

Vinson and Elk LLP

Cyber Data Tech

Sherrel Jennings

Mohammed Partovi

Capriotti Bread

Food and Turkey Drives

American Gas Association

Fresh Farm Markets

OSU v. Michigan Food Drive

Other Donations

Dr. Michael T. Gocke of Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery


Vinson and Elk LLP

Federal Schedulers

Federal Schedules, Inc.

Software AG USA

, November 19th, 2013

Nourishing Our Neighbors This Thanksgiving

Our meal production team led by Dawain Arrington will be hard at work on Thanksgiving

Our meal production team led by Dawain Arrington will be hard at work on Thanksgiving.

While most of us are asleep on Thanksgiving morning, Dawain Arrington, DCCK’s Production Manager and Class 59 Graduate will be up before dawn, working hard to get our holiday meals out the door. He’ll haul donated turkeys out of our onsite freezer, share his recipe with 10 DCCK staffers, and prepare to greet 30 eager volunteers.

For the rest of the day, Dawain will direct those volunteers and employees through the production of 5,000 meals.

When we’re here in the kitchen, all of us – staff and volunteers – are working for the same thing: to produce nutritious and delicious meals. We know that the meals DC Central Kitchen prepares might be the only meal a person gets that day, so it’s important we get it right.
- Dawain Arrington, Production Manager (Class 59)

You can help us get it right by making a donation today to help Dawain and his team prepare meals to nourish our most vulnerable neighbors.

When Dawain’s team is done, our team of drivers will distribute the hot meals to 100 homeless shelters, halfway houses, and nonprofits across Washington, DC. These nonprofit partners will save more than $10,000 that day by not making Thanksgiving meals of their own. 5,000 people who might have otherwise gone hungry on a day of abundance will be fed.

Your donation today will support the meals we prepare every single day of the year.

Dawain and the 10 people he manages have all transformed their lives in our kitchen, first as students in our Culinary Job Training Program and now as full-time employees. We’re shortening this city’s line of hungry people by the very way we feed it.

This Thanksgiving, we are so grateful for everyone in our community who helps us succeed, from the folks who drop off extra turkeys to the volunteers who spend their days in our cramped kitchen. And most of all, we are grateful for your support. Your donation this holiday season will combat hunger and create opportunity.

Happy Thanksgiving!

United Way Charity Navigator

DC Central Kitchen

425 2nd St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Near Union Station)
United Way# 8233, CFC# 67538
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