This year pushed all of us to the limit.
Thanks to you, DC Central Kitchen pushed back.
“The myth is that African Americans won’t buy fresh fruits and vegetables from a corner store. And yet, D.C. Central Kitchen has shown just how thoroughly the myth has been dispelled.” – Courtland Milloy, Washinton Post. Learn more about our myth-busting program, Healthy Corners.
In February, DCCK welcomed Ja’Sent Brown to the team as our very first Chief Impact Officer! Joining our senior management team, she shares the responsibility of establishing organization-wide objectives and setting strategic direction for DCCK.
“What’s so powerful about DCCK is they are tackling a problem in our neighborhoods in an innovative and fun way, for the benefit of our entire region. Their ethos of non-stop, bold and creative thinking on ways to serve the community so closely aligns with our own philosophy,” said Anu Rangappa, Vice President of Social Impact for MSE.
Ablawa is a prime example of DCCK’s mission. After successfully completing the Culinary Job Program in 2017, she joined the Healthy Corners team as a nutrition educator and in 2020 she returned back to the CJT team as a Culinary Arts Instructor – all while working to become a US citizen. Learn more about Ablawa’s journey here.
WAMU followed our Healthy School Foods team for a shift as they prepared over 600 meals and grocery bags at Kelly Miller Middle School. “Even if you don’t attend this particular school, if you are a person that needs to be fed, we’re here to feed you,” said DCCK’s Shay McCray. Read the full story.
Our early COVID-19 relief efforts took many forms, including a unique collaboration where DCCK supplemented DCPS feeding efforts with free groceries at schools across the city. Learn more about this collaboration.
“There’s no part of our operation that didn’t feel the direct effects of [the coronavirus crisis].” DCist spoke with our chief development officer in April to check in on the many ways DCCK refocused our enterprises and programs to provide emergency support the city’s most vulnerable residents. Read more here.
Healthy Corners, DCCK’s pioneering venture that is sustainably expanding healthy food access in DC’s food deserts, is always looking for ways to strengthen our connections with the communities we serve. That’s why we launched the Store Champion program, a special opportunity for community leaders in our HC store locations to provide meaningful feedback on the operation and logistics of the HC program.
From the beginning of the pandemic, each DCCK program pivoted to meet the urgent needs of our community. Our award-winning Healthy School Food program was no exception. Our staff quickly transformed school kitchens into emergency meal sites, serving nutritious meals to DC schoolchildren. Learn more about the adjustments our team made this year here.
In October, DCCK and DC Food Project kicked off our partnership to source, package, and distribute groceries for 675 families located primarily in Wards 1 and 4. Read more about this exciting partnership here.
DCCK is always delighted to uplift and support the work of newer organizations working to make a difference in our community, especially when that work is being led by Culinary Job Training grads! Learn more about the grants and supplies we provided two CJT grads leading their own community outreach for the Thanksgiving holiday here.
In November, announced our brand-new café, Marianne’s, located in the newly renovated Martin Luther King Library! This café will make number two, joining the DC Central Kitchen Café at THEARC. Read on about this exciting news here.
We had a special visitor for Thanksgiving! Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Main Kitchen to give a special thank you to our amazing DCCK front line staff preparing hundreds of meals in advance of the holiday. Read more about this exciting visit here.
DCCK Announces New Home
In December, we announced news both long awaited and hard won: relocating from our current location in the basement of a homeless shelter to a new headquarters in the Buzzard Point neighborhood in 2022. This new facility within the RiverPoint development will allow us to triple our capacity, providing the healthy food and job training opportunities that our community needs more urgently than ever before. Learn more about this exciting plan here.
In March 2020, we watched the world change. But DC Central Kitchen rose to the challenge, transforming our partner schools into feeding sites, developing a large-scale grocery distribution effort on the fly, and supplying millions of nutritious meals, fresh produce bags, and infant formula kits to community members around DC. Learn more about our pivots in an ever changing landscape here.
“When the coronavirus pandemic hit the District last spring, DC Central Kitchen had to shift its operations from being workforce development program to producing more meals than it had ever done before, over 2 million in the first seven months of the pandemic.” – Michael O’Connell, Patch. Learn more about how we shifted our operations in the wake of the pandemic in this piece.
DCCK prides itself on making the necessary connections to better serve the growing hunger needs of our community. That’s why it made sense to collaborate with two of our fellow hunger fighters, Dreaming Out Loud and World Central Kitchen, to create a mobile feeding initiative that brought meals to kids and seniors in underserved communities. Learn more about these exciting partnerships here.
Each year organizations ramp up efforts to meet increased needs during the holiday season but in the midst of the global pandemic, DCCK found itself facing elevated challenges along with elevated need. Learn more about how we combated hunger during the 2020 holiday season.
We continue to generate nearly half of our operating revenue through our sustainable social enterprises. Essential support is also provided by foundations, individuals, corporations, government grants, and our COVID-19 relief donors. Financials presented here are a summary – you can access our full audited financials here.
While the stories above reflect our work to fight hunger differently in 2020 and beyond, the financials listed here encompass the fiscal year of 2020, running from July 2019-June 2020. Donor lists for the current fiscal year of 2021 will appear in the corresponding annual report, which will be available in the spring of 2022.