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

Healthy Returns

Healthy Returns, a vital component of our a holistic, wraparound solution to childhood hunger, brings healthy meals and snacks to nearly 40 partner agencies serving low-income children and at-risk youth throughout the Washington, D.C. area. The program gives priority to agencies that focus on empowering life-skills such as mentoring, counseling, nutrition and health education, and job readiness skills.

Healthy Returns - making kids healthy

Donate nutritious snacks to our Healthy Returns program!

By removing the burden of feeding their participants, these after-school programs are able to focus their resources on supplies and equipment needed for their unique program curricula.

When kids are fed in after school programs, they are more likely to pay attention and behave. Since partnering with Healthy Returns, many agencies have reported an increase in attendance and retention rates.

DC Central Kitchen is committed to combating childhood hunger and obesity in school, after school, and at home. The Healthy Returns program offers nutrition education to adults, including reading nutrition labels, purchasing nutritionally sound food on a small budget, and planning diets for various chronic diseases. And with healthy recipes and cooking demonstrations, participating parents are fully empowered to bring healthy food home.

Does your after-school or summer-enrichment program want meals or snacks from Healthy Returns? Please see our Healthy Returns Application Packet, which includes FAQs, an application, and program guidelines. You can also contact Crystal Nicholas, our Partnership Program Manager, at or 202 234 0707 ext. 127.

For media inquiries, contact Paul Day, Communications Manager:

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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