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Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Introduces ‘Healthy Corner’ in Partnership with DC Central Kitchen

DC Central Kitchen
Photo Credit: Washington Nationals Philanthropies

Earlier today, Friday, June 28, the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy officially launched its new ‘Healthy Corner’ in partnership with DC Central Kitchen. The stand is a powerful step forward for the Academy and Washington Nationals Philanthropies, which continues to expand its food access programming to better serve Wards 7 and 8, an area of the District considered a food desert.

DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy Corners program is a pioneering venture that is sustainably expanding healthy food access in DC neighborhoods with limited to no access to larger grocery stores. The organization works with independent corner stores to provide fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices and in smaller quantities than a conventional distributor, creating affordable and accessible options at below-market prices for the consumer.

“Our efforts to improve healthy food access together started with DC Central Kitchen supplying meals to the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in 2013 so Scholar Athletes could fuel up for their youth development programming. Then, we launched healthy cooking classes at the Academy taught by our expert school food dietitians, teaching kid-friendly recipes. Now families can purchase the same healthy food at the Academy’s new Healthy Corners location, reinforcing healthy eating and the lasting life skills we teach,” said Mike Curtin, Jr., CEO, DC Central Kitchen.

“The Academy operates youth development programs as its primary purpose, but it also serves as a neighborhood hub that improves access to opportunities for area residents, including offering healthy and affordable food options to our community,” said Tal Alter, Chief Executive Officer, Washington Nationals Philanthropies. “DC Central Kitchen has been a critical partner for more than a decade, and we are thrilled to grow this partnership by adding the innovative Healthy Corner program, which will provide even more people with convenient food access.”

“Food has always had the power to bring people together, and this newest Healthy Corners location at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy is direct proof of that,” said José Andrés, Chair Emeritus, DC Central Kitchen. “This partnership is bringing healthy, affordable food to more people, helping children play and achieve their potential, and creating opportunities for local farmers and culinary students of DC Central Kitchen. This is the type of initiative I am thrilled to support through my new venture, the Longer Tables Fund, to make our food system more affordable, accessible, and innovative. With leaders like the Washington Nationals and DC Central Kitchen, our community can continue to model the solutions we need in DC and across the country.”

Through its programming, Washington Nationals Philanthropies has supported the delivery of nearly 1 million meals into the Washington, DC region since 2018, including through the only year-round farmers market in Ward 7, which delivers fresh produce at deeply discounted prices. In 2024, Nationals Philanthropies will deliver more than 100,000 meals to the community.

The new ‘Healthy Corner’ is currently located at the Academy’s existing concession stand. Washington Nationals Philanthropies will break ground on a new food access structure in the coming months, and it is expected to be completed by early 2025.


About Washington Nationals Philanthropies:

Washington Nationals Philanthropies is the official charitable arm of the Washington Nationals. Its mission is to help children, families, and communities thrive through sports-based youth development and access to healthy food. The organization delivers on this commitment by spurring investment in community-based programs that address the disparity of opportunity for residents of the region. Since 2007, the foundation has issued over $6.8 million in grants to local organizations. Through its signature program, the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the organization operates year-round youth development and baseball instruction activities, as well as a holistic food access program – supporting the delivery of nearly 1 million meals into the Washington, DC region since 2018. Since 2013, the organization has invested $42 million for facility construction and annual programming through the Academy.

About DC Central Kitchen:

DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) is an iconic nonprofit and social enterprise that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation. Our approach provides hands-on culinary job training while creating living-wage jobs and bringing nutritious, dignified food where it is most needed in our city. We serve scratch-cooked farm-to-school meals in DC schools; deliver fresh, affordable produce to corner stores in neighborhoods without supermarkets; provide delicious catering; and operate fast-casual cafes that also provide on-the-job training. DCCK has been featured in national media including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour, Civil Eats, and more. To learn more, visit dccentralkitchen.org or follow @dccentralkitchen on Instagram and @dcck on Twitter.