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Procurement spotlight: Lancaster Foods LLC

The United States wastes 40% of its food supply each year while 92,000 DC children and adults in DC struggle with food insecurity. To prevent waste and combat hunger in our community, we partner with wholesalers, grocery stores, restaurants, farms, and catering companies to recover food that would otherwise go to waste. What’s more, we’re using these perfectly nutritious, dignified ingredients to prepare 5,000 meals that are prepared and delivered to our partner homeless shelters and nonprofits.

An important part of preparing our meals lies in our efforts to keep them not only healthy, but satisfying. That’s why a fresh salad, fruit, or other vegetable dish is included with every meal prepared by DC Central Kitchen. Tracey Sero, DCCK’s Director of Kitchen Operations, notes: “A lot of our clients struggle with diabetes, high blood pressure and other health issues. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy meal.”

To ensure a steady supply of fruits and vegetables for our meals, DC Central Kitchen works with food donors looking for an outlet for excess produce.

“Sometimes, produce which is perfectly wholesome, has superficial blemishes that make it unsuitable for direct sale,” says Sarah Bohlinger, Quality Assurance Chef at Lancaster Foods LLC, one of DC Central Kitchen’s food donors. “Lancaster was looking for a positive, impactful way to re-purpose such produce instead of letting it go to waste.”

Food donors, such as our partners at Lancaster Foods LLC, make our work preparing healthy, nutritious meals for those in need possible.

This January, DC Central Kitchen received over 40,000 pounds of fresh produce from donors including Lancaster Foods LLC, Coastal Sunbelt, Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic Distribution Center, Pete Pappas Produce, and Sysco Baltimore. Kudos to these organizations for their part in combating hunger in DC!