At DC Central Kitchen, there’s one two-word phrase we’ve come back to time and time again: keep pushing.
Thanks to you, we’ve pushed ahead like never before. Since the pandemic struck our city and drove up rates of food insecurity by 50%, we’ve served nearly 8 million meals. That meant our devoted staff had to keep our kitchens cooking and trucks delivering 7 days a week, 365 days a year in the face of a health crisis, inclement weather, supply chain shortages, and skyrocketing fuel and food costs.
Now, we need your support to push our solutions to hunger and poverty forward. In our new home, we will develop more innovative solutions to ensure our neighbors have the healthy food they need today and grow our acclaimed job training program to take on hunger’s root cause, poverty. And from today through December 20th, all donations will be doubled by our long-time partners at the John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation, up to $100,000!
With your support, we will more than double our storage space in our new home, where our Inventory Control Assistant Damon, a 2014 graduate of our training program now in his eighth year of employment at DCCK, can sort and store 3,000 pounds of local farm products daily. Now enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia where he is focusing on business and nonprofit management and an 8-year DCCK employee, Damon is looking to the future in our new facility, saying, “We’ve expanded over the past 30 years. We needed more space. In the new building, I will have more time and space to finish all my tasks.”
Our chefs, like our Production Manager Carlette, will transform the food products that Damon sorts into 25,000 nutritious, scratch-cooked meals every day when we reach our new maximum scale. A mom of two, Carlette graduated from our training program in 2013 and is now responsible for managing a dozen colleagues. Aside from creating thousands of meals each day, Chef ‘Letta loves coaching up each new group of culinary students, especially those who are mothers themselves, saying, “I want them to learn as much as I have, if not more. I want to produce more greatness.”
Now, Carlette will be able to produce even more greatness as we finally have the space to triple our workforce development capacity, allowing us to train 250 culinary students per year by 2025. Students like our Recruitment and Intake Specialist Gregory, a 2016 graduate of our training program who sat on our Board of Directors before joining us full-time as a recruiter for the same program that helped him change his life.
Today, Gregory’s story helps him connect with potential students who might have trouble trusting the process they’ll find at DC Central Kitchen. He shared that story in a policy roundtable with the U.S. Secretary of Education this year as he advocated for more robust educational support for people returning home from prison. As Gregory reminds us, hunger and poverty “are not things that just popped up. They’re generational. They’re systemic. And it will take good-willed people who are committed to doing the work and giving it all they have to solve these problems.”
Gregory’s right. We can’t solve hunger and poverty without support from people like you. Donors who give $100 or more will also be honored in our new facility with their name listed on a striking digital donor wall from award-winning artist Robin Bell. Don’t miss this opportunity to show our students just how many people in our city are invested in their future success and be recognized for your generous support for years to come.
When you invest in DC Central Kitchen, you’re not only supporting the essential costs of purchasing local farm products, equipping our students and staff with kitchen supplies and safety equipment, and maintaining a fleet of refrigerated vehicles that can safely store and deliver thousands of meals a day. You’re investing in people who keep pushing to make our community a healthier, fairer place. People like Damon, Carlette, and Gregory.
Will you give generously today so leaders like these can keep pushing to provide the healthy food and job opportunities our city needs? All donations will be doubled thanks to a matching challenge from our long-time supporters at the John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation, up to $100,000!