Giving back this holiday season

The holiday season is a wonderful time to give thanks and give back. At DC Central Kitchen, we fighting hunger differently during the holidays and throughout the year by providing meals for our community each day while making longer-term investments in career training and job creation that strengthen local food systems and reduce disparities in health and economic opportunity.

While financial investments help make our work possible, we would never be able to provide our community with the balanced, dignified meals we’re so proud of without the 800,000 pounds of donated food we receive each year to prepare them.

At Thanksgiving, our need for donated food becomes even more evident, as we need at least 400 whole turkeys to complete the 5,000 meals we’ll make on Thanksgiving alone. Plus, protein is our most difficult donated food item to come by. If we don’t use all of the donated turkeys we receive for Thanksgiving, we’ll freeze them so we can use them in another healthy meal later on.

If you’re looking to give back this holiday season, here are a few ways you can help make a difference in our shared community:

Turkey Drives

Consider organizing a turkey drive within your organization, office, religious organization, or with your friends and family. Each and every turkey is a huge help. If you are interested in donating turkeys, you can drop it off according to the time schedule listed below.

Food Drives

Due to the high volume of meals we produce every day, food drives need to be centered on one or two items.  Limiting food drives in such a way allows groups to generate a quantity of an item large enough for us to use in our daily meal production. Below is a list of our most needed items:

  • Beans
  • Brown Rice
  • Canned Tuna or Chicken
  • Pasta

If you plan to hold a turkey drive, or any other event to collect food donations for DC Central Kitchen, please contact our food recovery team ( or 202-400-2804) before you begin collecting items.

Drop-off Guidelines

Our regular hours for drop-offs are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekends.

DC Central Kitchen’s physical address is 425 2nd St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. You can view directions on our website here. Please ensure that you receive a receipt for your donation from our on-site staff as we need to keep track of all food we receive. Donations are tax-deductible.

DC Central Kitchen is often able to pick up especially large donations; however, we greatly appreciate it if you are able to bring donations to our location. Please contact our food recovery team ( or 202-400-2804) in advance if you need to schedule a pick-up.

Financial Contributions

If you are interested in making a financial investment in DC Central Kitchen, you can do so through our website.

Thank you for supporting DC Central Kitchen. Because of you, we’re able to provide 5,000 healthy, balanced meals each day to more than 80 partner homeless shelters, rehabilitation clinics, afterschool programs, and other nonprofit partners.