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Join us in the Fight Against Senior Hunger in the District

Melissa Gold

We fight hunger and poverty with healthy food, good jobs, and hope. Sometimes, our dedication to this fight means taking on new challenges. In years past, that involved changing the ways our city thought about wasted food, people who had been incarcerated, and what was possible in school cafeterias. We’ve stepped up and won, time and again, because of you. Today, we’re asking for your trust and support once more as we open a new front in the battle against hunger.

Washington, DC has one of the nation’s worst rates of food insecurity among older adults. Nearly 14% of our city’s seniors don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

Seniors face hunger for a variety of reasons. They’re making hard decisions about purchasing medicine and paying utilities, and sometimes there isn’t enough money left to buy food. Getting to grocery stores is tough enough for the thousands of DC residents who live two or three bus rides from a supermarket—let alone for older adults with mobility challenges or safety concerns. Many seniors don’t want to ask for help if they think that leaves fewer resources for others, and some struggle to find that help if it requires going online. Inflation continues to impact food prices and many pandemic-era food programs have cut back or stopped entirely. On top of all these worries, Federal funds for food assistance plummeted last year, reducing many low-income seniors’ monthly support from $100 to just $30.

We know this is unacceptable, and together we can stop it.

Between now and June 15, all donations to help DC Central Kitchen fight senior hunger will be doubled! This $50,000 matching challenge is made possible by a personal gift from the Sobel-Critchley family here in DC. Will you make a gift today so we can change the state of senior hunger in our city?

For more than a year, we have been digging into the needs of DC’s seniors, forging new partnerships, and testing creative methods for bringing seniors the healthy food they need to thrive. Our solutions start with scratch-cooked meals packed with fresh produce from local farmers. Then we provide these healthy meals to seniors in two ways. Some we deliver to senior housing facilities and support programs, so older adults can gather to enjoy our food and each other’s company. But other seniors are more isolated. That’s why we’ve teamed up with DoorDash to bring our daily meals directly to seniors’ front doors with care and consistency they can count on. This dynamic home-delivery model has already brought nearly 50,000 free meals to older adults who have fallen through the cracks of existing programs and services.

Seniors like Ms. Alice, who takes public transit to a distant grocery store even though says she doesn’t walk very well anymore. Alice says our “needed and desirable meals” are brought by “courteous couriers” with recipes that “are always on point.” Or Ms. Lillian, who calls our “delightful” meals featuring salads and fresh salmon a “wonderful blessing for an 80-plus woman who can’t cook as much anymore.” Mr. Paul says that “when you’re coming from the streets, anything is a good thing, but there’s an element of quality that DC Central Kitchen brings, and I hope that gives people the motivation to cook something like this on their own.”

These solutions are already providing hundreds of local seniors with more than 8,000 healthy meals each month! But word is getting out and demand for our vital services is growing. Will you help us push that total to 10,000 monthly meals and more than 500 seniors served by year’s end? Remember, all donations will be doubled by our friends, the Sobel-Critchley family, up to $50,000!

When it comes to senior hunger, Washington, DC should be a national leader—by solving it, not by having one of the highest rates of it. DC Central Kitchen is ready for this fight. Will you join us and give generously today?