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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Economic Impact

Our product is empowerment.

DC Central Kitchen is a thriving eleven million dollar-per-year business. Each of our programs re-invests critical resources in our community by strengthening other nonprofits, putting people back to work, and working closely with area farmers.

Because we are a ‘central kitchen’ with the capacity to serve up 5,000 meals to 100 other nonprofits each day, we save these organizations and their donors upwards of $2 million in food costs annually. With so many nonprofits lamenting budget cuts and declining charitable giving, DCCK is growing in its capacity and impact. Last year alone, the Kitchen invested $120,000 in 14 local farmers and cooperatives while sparing $1.2 million in potential food waste.

We also help people move from dependency to self-sufficiency. Since the recession struck in 2008, our 339 graduates have achieved a job placement rate of 90% and a job retention rate of 85%. When other job training programs across DC squandered public and private funds with few results, The Washington Post confirmed our ability to successfully train unemployed individuals for less than half the cost of any organization under contract with DC’s Department of Employment Services.

We graduated 63 ex-offenders in 2011. According to traditional recidivism statistics, these men and women would cost taxpayers $1,500,000 after just one year. But an ex-offender who completes our program is 96% less likely to end up back in prison than the average ex-offender nationwide. With a program budget of approximately $600,000, CJT places at-risk men and women in quality jobs, through which they will contribute $200,000 in payroll taxes in 2012 while sparing the public considerable expenses in law enforcement, sentencing, homeless shelter services, and welfare payments. All told, CJT promises a 350% return on investment for our community each year.