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: November 2012

Healthy Corners Participates in Ward 8 Turkey Give Away

, November 30th, 2012

Ward 8 Turkey Give Away

As part of our effort to promote the fresh produce in our Healthy Corners stores, DC Central Kitchen participated in last week’s Ward 8 Turkey Giveaway. We handed out sweet potatoes and recipes and gave the community a taste of the healthy fresh food they can find in their neighborhoods.

Residents lined up by the hundreds outside of Union Temple Church in Anacostia to receive one of the two thousand turkeys being distributed to ensure a well nourished holiday for local families.

Healthy Corners was there to add to the holiday bounty, passing out 200 pounds of sweet potatoes. Participants were given two sweet potatoes along with a simple recipe for preparation and a banana and some trail mix to snack on while waiting for turkeys.

Many of those who stopped by were pleasantly surprised to hear of our two Healthy Corners stores within walking distance of Union Temple Church that sell reasonably priced fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks.

Get our recipe for Simple Sauteed Sweet Potatoes here.

Over 1,000 Turkeys Donated to DC Central Kitchen

, November 27th, 2012

1,000 Turkeys Donated
We’re so thankful that over 1,000 turkeys and thousands of pounds of sides were donated for this holiday season. We could not do our work without our community of donors. Here is a comprehensive list of our friends who donated holiday food over the past few weeks. We thank everyone that gave to fight hunger in their community.

DC Central Kitchen was open on Thanksgiving to produce thousands of holiday meals for hungry DC residents.


Ayrshire Farms


Cuisine Solutions

Miller, Balis & O’Neil, PC

Federal Schedulers

Emmanual Brinklow SDA Church

Lockhead Martin

McKean Defense Group

United Praise Youth Choir (Richmond, VA)

UDC Law School

City Year

Carmine’s DC

FRESHFARM Markets- DuPont Circle


American Gas Association

Dekatron Corporation

Georgetown Conference Center

Tiffanie Williams

Jamilia Nero

Aspen of DC

Kiya Badrpay

Justin Lesher

Bill Bates

Patricia Howard

Georgetown Law School Alumni

Total Turkeys: 1,028

Other Food Donations:

DC JCC- Everything But the Turkey

Thanksgiving Meal Prep Volunteers

Thanksgiving Meal Prep Volunteers

Feast of Sharing- Safeway and The Walter E. Washington Convention Center

State Department/Walmart

FRESHFARM Markets- DuPont Circle

Georgetown Day School

Beauvoir School

Christ Crossman United Methodist Church (Falls Church)

Lindsey Vaala

National Council of Farmers Co-Op

Arc Construction

American University- Psi Sigma Pi Honor Society

American University- SIS council

American University- Alpha Kappa Psi

NY Avenue Pres. Church

Georgetown Law School

University of Michigan and Ohio State drive

Melissa Morrisey (individual)

New Media Strategies:

Washington WholeSale

Temple Sinai DC

Center for Food Safety:

DC Central Kitchen Wins USDA Farm to School Grant

, November 21st, 2012

More of this made possible by the USDA

We’re all about local impact at DC Central Kitchen. That’s why we’re proud to announce that we won a $100,000 grant from the USDA Farm to School program to invest more into local produce.

Because of seasonality, it’s hard for us to use local when it’s out of season. This grant will give us more capacity to process and safely store fresh produce when it’s ready locally.

With the additional funding we’ll also increase our investment into local growers and farmers by 43 percent over 2011, to an impressive $165,000 in local impact.

The produce will be used in over 5,000 healthy, scratch-cooked meals each day serving students at DC Public Schools.

Over half of DCCK’s funding comes from generating revenue through social enterprise and with this Farm to School Grant, we’re not just investing resources back into the community. We’re also seeing a return on that investment that cycles back to our other life changing programs. The Healthy School Food Program is an example of how we’re thinking long-term about being a sustainable organization.

The Washington Post ran a story on the USDA award last week. Check it out here.

Walmart and US Department of State Team Up to Support DC Central Kitchen

, November 20th, 2012

DCCK truck picks up gift bags

Last Thursday, Walmart and the US Department of State teamed up to provide 600 bags of Thanksgiving meal items to DC Central Kitchen.

Foreign ambassadors and their families gathered at the Blair House for the annual Taste of Thanksgiving hosted by the State Department to share in the American tradition of Thanksgiving and celebrate the power of food to bring people together.

While dining on gourmet Thanksgiving fare provided by American Chef Corps members Chef Art Smith, Chef B. Smith and Chef Richard Hetzler, guests were invited to participate in a service project to benefit DC Central Kitchen.

Thanks to a generous product donation by Walmart, diplomats and their families helped to assemble 600 re-usable bags filled with yams, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and stuffing. These bags will be distributed through First Helping, DC Central Kitchen’s street outreach program which serves breakfast to homeless and low-income men and women and helps them find homes, jobs, and new beginnings

Bags will also be distributed to current students and alumni of our Culinary Job Training Program.  DC Central Kitchen thanks Walmart and the State Department for providing all of our clients with a taste of Thanksgiving this year.

Walmart is a long-time partner of DC Central Kitchen, providing over $1.1 million to support life changing programs.

James Weeks: How I Found A New Beginning

, November 17th, 2012

Four years ago, I was hungry, homeless, and feeling hopeless. I heard about DC Central Kitchen’s white van on South Capitol Street that served meals. I found much more than breakfast. I found hope and a new beginning.

Today, I’m asking you to donate to DC Central Kitchen to change more lives.

An outreach worker told me about DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training program. I enrolled, and 14 weeks later I graduated with a food handlers’ license and a job.

Now I’m no longer standing in line waiting for a sandwich. From a hot, healthy meal to intensive training and finally a steady job, DC Central Kitchen has helped me completely turn my life around.

This April, DC Central Kitchen gave me a new opportunity: there was a job opening in the same street outreach program that gave me my new beginning. Today, I’m driving the white van every morning to help people like me get the services and support they need to change their lives.

I ask you to please make a donation today. Your gift buys an opportunity for the people like me who are ready to change, but need a hand getting out of the sandwich line and into the driver’s seat.

Holiday Giving Guide

, November 13th, 2012

The hustle and bustle of the holidays inspire us to connect with our family, coworkers, friends – and for many of us, our community. At DC Central Kitchen, gifts of charitable donations and volunteer time keep our life-changing programs thriving all year long. There are many ways you can get involved this holiday season.

Workplace Holiday Parties
Several local organizations have gotten creative with their fundraisers, holding karaoke parties, silent auctions, and friendly, inter-departmental competitions to spice up their workplace giving. Check out our “Give at Work” page for fun, interactive ideas for you to host your very own “PhilanthroParty” at work, or contact Abby Elsener at (202) 789-5979 ext. 100, or for more information.

Honorariums at Holiday Parties
If you’re already hosting a holiday party, consider asking guests to make a donation in honor of DC Central Kitchen in place of a gift.

Monthly Giving
Changing your annual donation to a monthly donation is also a fantastic way to support DC Central Kitchen throughout the year. Not only will you have the benefit of easy, automated giving, you’ll receive special recognition in our annual report. And more importantly, we will have your guaranteed support every month.

Donating Food
Finally, Thanksgiving offers several unique opportunities for donating turkeys, holding a food drive, or volunteering. We are committed to providing thousands of traditional Thanksgiving meals to our partners and clients each year, and your support is vital to pulling it off! If you’re interested in hosting a food drive or collecting other goods for donation this Thanksgiving, please visit our “Donate Food” page to learn more or contact Amy Bachman at 202-400-2806 or

And, as always, we need volunteers in our kitchen 365 days a year – holidays are certainly no exception! Visit our volunteer page to learn more and book a spot for you and your family today! We especially need help in January after the holiday season, so book your time now!