At DC Central Kitchen, we know that hunger doesn’t take a holiday — that includes summer vacation from school. Every summer, our Community Meals team provides additional meals throughout DC to students who would typically receive meals at school. This summer, at 32 sites, we served 15,966 breakfasts, 20,239 lunches and 3,841 sack lunches (cold meals that can be taken home and don’t need to be consumed on site).
We are always looking to test new, innovative solutions through our programs, and this summer was no different. While we had previously delivered meals to community pools during the summer, this year we added weekend stops at those pools as well – rotating through seven community pools in DC. We also began delivering meals through Arcadia Mobile Markets, which are mobile farm stands that distribute local, sustainably sourced food in low-income communities with limited access to fresh food. Our team joined them at their markets in Anacostia, Edgewood, Hendley Elementary and LeDroit Park. These markets not only provide healthy food options, but also provide recipes, cooking demos and pre-screenings for SNAP/EBT enrollment.
As a nearly 30 year-old nonprofit, we’re used to doing more to meet the needs of our community, but we don’t stop there. We also take the lessons we’ve learned and use them to educate others and inform systems at the highest possible level. This summer, our CEO, Mike Curtin spoke to congressional staffers at a briefing hosted by the Food is Medicine working group focused on the USDA’s summer meals programs where he shared the importance of providing year-round support for DC kids and families. Our summer meal production is just one aspect of our holistic approach to making DC a more equitable city for everyone.
With support from our fantastic volunteers, we were able to ramp up meal production this summer to serve over 40,000 meals to students in our community and help bridge the summer vacation meal gap. Thank you for continuing to support DC Central Kitchen!