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30 years of DC Central Kitchen

On January 20, 2019, we mark our 30th year
in operation. This isn’t a milestone –
it’s a jumping-off point…

SEE WHERE WE’VE BEEN

1989

Our founder, Robert Egger, launched DC Central Kitchen and within 6 months, we were delivering meals to 30 agencies. That same year we started our Culinary Job Training program.

Why bother just to pick up and deliver food when there’s this golden opportunity to train people?”

- Robert Egger
The Albuquerque Tribune,
July 7, 1989

1996

We didn’t stop there. With the launch of Fresh Start Catering, we became job creators and an early adopter of social enterprise.

Egger’s operation has more in common with a start-up company than a traditional soup kitchen.

The Wall Street Journal,
November 29, 1999

2001

We started The Campus Kitchens Project, which now replicates our model at 68 high school and college campuses across the country.

2008

The recession hit, and instead of trying to wait out those challenges, we grew, earned more of our own revenue, and created more jobs by signing our first Healthy School Food contract.

2011

We started Healthy Corners and for the first time, our social enterprise portfolio earned more than 50% of our annual budget (we’ve kept this up every year since).

2015

Our 100th Culinary Job Training Class graduated, joining a community of over 1,800 alumni.

Today, DC Central Kitchen doesn’t just boast a wildly successful job training program, it has its hand in just about every corner of the city where food and outreach intersect.

- DCist
July 10, 2015

2018

Last year, we prepared a total of 3.2 million meals for 76 community agencies and 15 DC schools, and we delivered 251,900 units of affordable healthy snacks and fresh produce to 71 corner stores.

2019

More from our 30th

DC Central Kitchen founder, Robert Egger, during our earlier days of food recovery and meal distribution.   What it does it mean when an organization that set out to put itself out of business turns 30? For many traditional nonprofits, anniversaries like these are moments of celebration. They’ve persisted, grown, established programs, and built facilities…. Read more »