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NBA, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and DC Central Kitchen team up for DC youth!

On August 6th, the NBA Foundation announced its third round of nationwide grantees – a group that includes DC Central Kitchen! The NBA Foundation’s $100,000 contribution, which follows our initial nomination by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) and the Washington Wizards, will support the ongoing expansion of DCCK’s job training services for Opportunity Youth.

With this grant, we will enroll 20 young people in our acclaimed Culinary Job Training program, hire a full-time social worker to support student development, and provide hands-on learning opportunities at our social enterprise cafes at THEARC in Ward 8 and at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, just steps from Capital One Arena. To learn more about the impact of this grant, check out the amazing video and landing page from MSE featuring our Chief Impact Officer Ja’Sent Brown!

This high-impact partnership comes at a crucial time for our young people in the community. The NBA Foundation is laser-focused on addressing the root causes of racial injustice and we are honored to be among this national cohort of grantees lifting up the talents and aspirations of Black youth.

As leaders in our community and long-time partners of DCCK, MSE, and the Wizards identified our services for young adults as a powerful home-grown solution in our city – but this is just the latest way they have helped us increase our social impact. After years of regular volunteering by MSE employees at DCCK’s bustling headquarters, MSE helped launch DCCK’s first youth training café in 2019 near the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Congress Heights. MSE then designated DCCK as its Social Impact partner in January 2020, a collaboration that highlighted our Culinary Job Training program on all in-game and in-arena assets. In a single month, the effort yielded 186 new volunteer hours, a considerable increase in catering orders prepared by DCCK’s staff and students, and $120,000 in contributions from sports fans that allowed DCCK to proactively expand its hunger relief efforts in the early days of the pandemic.

As Monica Dixon, MSE’s Chief Administrative Officer & President of External Affairs, put it, “When the NBA Foundation asked us to identify a nonprofit where they could facilitate sustainable programming to create change in this team’s hometown market, we had the perfect fit in DC Central Kitchen…This is so well deserved for the DC Central Kitchen team and so many new students will vastly improve their career trajectory and economic potential because of this grant.”

Please join us in thanking the NBA Foundation, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and the Washington Wizards for supporting DC’s young people!