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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Monthly Archives: February 2012

CJT Class 87 Students Intern at the Nutrition Lab

, February 22nd, 2012

This week five students from DCCK’s 87th Culinary Job Training Class reported to the Nutrition Lab to begin their two week long internship experience. Now that the students are halfway through their fourteen week class, they get the opportunity to gain some hands on experience, working side by side with Nutrition Lab staff. During their time at the Lab the students will help prepare the 750+  catering and contract meals made each day and assist with the bulk production of local produce for DC Public Schools. Here are some photos of the students hard at work on their second day at the Lab:

Wanda, Ilya and Robin

Wanda (CJT Class 87), Ilya (CJT Class 73) and Robin (CJT Class 85)


Thiend (CJT Class 87)


Terrell (CJT Class 87)


Koshland Science Museum Hosts DCCK’s First Healthy Plate Cook-Off

, February 21st, 2012

Last week, Culinary Job Training students cooked-off at the Koshland Science Museum to prepare healthy meals using the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines.

Staff from the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) lent their taste buds to judge each team on taste, appearance, and overall healthiness.

The first-time event was a huge success for the class, drawing nearly 100 people to the museum and increasing their knowledge of preparing healthy and balanced meals.

The Koshland Science Museum hosted this community event in partnership with the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences as part of the National Academies’ African American History Program. This program was established in 1985 to heighten awareness of the contributions of outstanding African Americans in science, engineering, medicine, and the nation’s welfare.

A special thanks to the Koshland Science Museum and the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board for making this event such a success!

Healthy Plate Cook-OffHealthy Plate Cook-OffHealthy Plate Cook-offHealthy Plate Cook-OffHealthy Plate Cook-OffHealthy Plate Cook-off

Prior to the cook-off, teams learned about healthy meal planning from FNB staff.

Class 87 Cooks Off to Showcase Culinary Skills

, February 14th, 2012

Class 87 showcased their culinary skills last week by competing t0 make the most delicious bouillabaisse. The Cook Off is an important event for each culinary job training class as it gives students the opportunity to have their newly acquired skills judged by professional chefs and members of the business community. DC Central Kitchen was proud to host the following judges:

Chef Skippy
Chef Instructor – Potomac Job Corp

Susan Callahan
Chef Instructor – UMES

Nancy Ware
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

Adrienne Poteat
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

Vicki Davis
TD Bank

Donna Grisby
TD Bank

Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction Farmers Work Alongside our DCPS Cooks at the Lab

, February 8th, 2012

On Friday we hosted our first ever group of volunteers at the Nutrition Lab; thirteen men and women from the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction in Dayton, Virginia. This was quite a special group to have in, as the auction is our largest source of fresh local produce.

Much of the work that is now based out of the Nutrition Lab, including bulk production and school food service started with and grew out of our relationship with this group of growers. The group of visitors from the auction included growers and their wives, the auction manager, our buyer at the auction and the auctioneer himself.

Working alongside cooks from our DCPS staff who were out for a teacher work day, the farmers helped process 30 bushels of sweet potatoes, before heading over to visit students and staff at Washington Jesuit Academy. Here are a few pictures from the morning:

Carol, a Culinary Job Training Program graduate and cook at DC Public Schools

Tashira, a Culinary Job Training Program graduate and cook at DC Public Schools, works with our visitors

The men from the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction

The women from the Shenadoah Valley Produce Auction

New volunteer registration system launches today

, February 1st, 2012

Today, DC Central Kitchen launches a new and easier to use volunteer registration system.

The new volunteer calendar also allows you to view opportunities in several different formats. If you already have a volunteer login via the old system, you will need to create a new login to use this system. One benefit is you can now view opportunities without registering or logging in.

DC Central Kitchen sees tens of thousands of volunteers every year and they are crucial to producing over 5,000 meals each day at our 2nd Street Main Kitchen. We’re now opening opportunities to volunteer at the Nutrition Lab on Evarts Street, where Fresh Start’s revenue generating programs need help generating thousands of additional meals.

As part of an effort to improve the volunteer program, we’re also asking you to fill out a quick survey about your experiences. Please pass this link onto your group.