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Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2018
30th Anniversary Edition



Thirty years ago, DC Central Kitchen delivered our first meals using leftovers recovered from the presidential inauguration. While our solutions to hunger and poverty have grown and evolved thanks to your support, we have remained grounded in our core values and vision of a more equitable, inclusive community. Learn more>>

We have always tried to model a “good business” approach driven by measurable results. In this annual report, we’ll introduce you to an innovative model for capturing the change you create with your dollar called “Social Return on Investment” (SROI). LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW WE USE SROI>>



We are hungerfighters.

Food has always been, and will continue to be, our tool for creating change, but we know we’ll never feed our way out of hunger.
3.2 million
nutritious meals prepared for local shelters, nonprofits, and DC schools this year.
What's the SROI?

Every $1 invested in our work creates $4.48 in value. By employing graduates of our training program at living wages to prepare these millions of meals, we created $71 million in value.

Watch Nightline feature with Ted Koppel (1999)

Ted Koppel profiled DC Central Kitchen and the Culinary Job Training program in 1999 on ABC’s Nightline. Watch now>>

Meet Ron.

Meet Ron. Ron enrolled at DC Central Kitchen at the recommendation of his probation officer in 2016. Today, he works on our team providing cooking demos and nutrition education at corner stores and partner nonprofits. This year, Ron and his team reached 3,397 adults, youth, and seniors with nutrition education events. Read his story>>


We are job creators.

We began with the belief that food alone would never end hunger – and now our commitments to living wages and inclusive economic development have become a national model.
86% job placement rate
among 104 graduates from our Culinary Job Training program this year.
What's the SROI?

$7.8 million in economic and social returns generated by our Culinary Job Training program this year, based on the reduced reliance on public services, the prevention of recidivism, and our graduates securing jobs, promotions, and paying taxes.

Watch PBS News Hour feature (2015)

“Blocks from the White House, DC Central Kitchen is the nation’s largest community kitchen, putting out 5,000 meals a day to homeless shelters, schools, halfway houses and other nonprofits. But the kitchen’s other output is training men and women who are working to turn their lives around with careers in the culinary arts” Watch the interview>>

Meet Ms. Dot.

MEET MS. DOT. Ms. Dot was one of the first DC Central Kitchen grads to join our staff – and she’s still with us 24 years later. During her tenure, Ms. Dot has worked with over 300,000 volunteers and played a role in preparing millions of meals for our community. Read more>>


We are innovators.

Since our founding, we’ve used our front-line work to break down stereotypes and test new solutions. When others say a problem is impossible to fix, we say our job is to try.
We tackled food waste on a citywide scale through our work with the DC Council and the Food Recovery Working Group to pass The Save Good Food Act of 2018.
What's the SROI?

$7.05 million value to consumers, businesses, and other stakeholders as we kept food out of landfills and used it to nourish our community this year.

Read about President Clinton's visit (1999)
30 Years of DCCK

“So I hope that communities – I hope that where this message goes out, if this is a problem in other communities, they’ll look at the D.C. Central Kitchen model and they’ll go to work”

Read the remarks from former President Clinton’s visit to DC Central Kitchen >>

Meet Cora.

MEET CORA. Cora was among a group of graduates who testified before the DC Council for continued funding for workforce development programs like ours. Together, their testimonies helped secure millions in funding for career pathways and workforce training in DC. Read more>>


We are not stopping now.

In spring 2019, we’re launching our latest innovation: DC Central Kitchen Cafe in DC’s Ward 8.


A high-tech classroom

Read more

We’ve adapted our acclaimed job training curriculum to help young adults who are not in school and not working learn marketable skills in an immersive, trauma-informed environment.


Community cafe

Read more

We’ll serve affordable, locally-sourced options while creating jobs and mentoring opportunities for our culinary graduates.


Full-scale commercial kitchen

Read more

With additional commercial kitchen space, we’ll prepare 110,000 annual meals for students and youth programs in the surrounding community.



We continued to generate more than half of our operating revenue through our own sustainable social enterprises, and we continued to keep our expenses lean, directing 5.9% toward fundraising and development and 8.7% toward general and management. The following chart shows the breakdown of our diverse revenue sources:

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Our work wouldn’t be possible without support from community members like you.

255 recurring donors

Recurring donors give monthly or quarterly to DC Central Kitchen, providing a steady stream of income for our programs throughout the year.

How do I become a recurring donor?

To join the ranks of our recurring donors, click here and select make this a recurring gift!

131 donors in giving circles

Our Giving Circles represent a dedicated group of supporters who commit to giving at either the “Champion” level; the “Advocate” level; or the “Ambassador” level.


How do I join a Giving Circle?

Giving Circle Levels:
Champion level–$2,500-$4,999 annually
Advocate level–$5,000-$9,999 annually
Ambassador level–$10,000 + annually

If you are interested in joining a Giving Circle, please contact Matt Schnarr, Donor Relations Manager.

162 schools, corner stores and non-profits

This year, we were fortunate to partner with 162 schools, corner stores and non-profits that hire or contract with us to provide healthy food to our community.


Want DCCK at your school or next event?

This year, we’re expanding our catering services and looking for new contracts with charter and private schools in our community. Interested in having DCCK cater your next event or in hiring us to serve healthy school meals for the coming year? Contact us at