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 COVID-19 RESPONSE 
 Two years of impact at DC Central Kitchen 

 

Learn about our response and what you can do to help.

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What we prioritized

  • Scratch-cooking and delivering more than six million healthy meals for schools, shelters, nonprofits, and front-line partners across the region.
  • Sourcing directly from hard-hit local farmers and building a large-scale emergency grocery program
  • Creating and sustaining economic opportunity by hiring graduates of our training program to meet critical needs and make up for the loss of our beloved volunteer program.
  • Providing deeply discounted fresh produce to corner stores in neighborhoods without grocery stores through our Healthy Corners program and ensuring customers could use Federal benefits at these stores, ensuring a win/win for our local economy.
  • Supporting grassroots mutual aid networks of neighbors helping neighbors by supplying free meals, produce bags, and infant formula.
  • Sharing our finite resources with small businesses, hospitality partners, and less visible yet highly impactful nonprofit organizations through strategic and value-driven partnerships.
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What we’ve done

  • Increased our investment in local farmers, including Black and Latinx farmers, to sustain their operations and prevent crop waste
  • Built a large-scale produce bag assembly and distribution model at the Washington Convention Center, with initial logistics support from Occasions Caterers
  • Converted our family-style meal production model to individually packaged meals in less than 48 hours
  • Empowered thousands of SNAP customers and other shoppers to purchase fresh food at corner stores and plan shopping trips with a new mobile app
  • Established nine mobile feeding sites for youth to ensure food access throughout the summer
  • Provided mini-grants to smaller partner nonprofits stepping up to fight hunger in their communities
  • Engaged local restaurants and caterers to help us keep up with demand for meals while retaining their staff
  • Recovered hundreds of thousands of pounds of surplus food from farmers, wholesalers, retailers, and event venues
  • Invested in living wages, comprehensive health coverage, and personal protective equipment for our staff
  • Responded to the suspension of our much-loved volunteer program by creating employment opportunities for nearly 20 DCCK graduates in our organization and through Get Shift Done
  • Earned recognition from No Kid Hungry, Today, Washington City Paper, DCist, WAMU, and other leading outlets for our innovative response efforts.
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How you can help

  • Donate. As always, a financial donation to DC Central Kitchen is the single best way to help us keep our operations running today and scale our capacity during the city’s recovery.  Make a donation today.
  • Elevate. Help spread the word about how DCCK and other local organizations are addressing food insecurity while helping ensure a more just recovery.
  • Support the restaurant industry. Be a thoughtful and gracious diner, tip well, and encourage anyone with a ‘Help Wanted’ sign to call DCCK about hiring one of our culinary graduates. Get ideas for how you can support the restaurant community.
  • Stay connected. Sign up for our newsletter & follow us on social media to keep up with what we’re doing in the community.
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Where to learn more

Contact us

  • Questions on meal operations?
    Email Andrew Finke, Chief Operations Officer 
  • Looking to donate food?
    Email Amy Bachman, Director of Procurement 
  • Have a media inquiry?
    Email Melissa Gold, Director of Communications 
  • Questions on specific funding needs?
    Email Alex Moore, Chief Development Officer
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Thank you to the organizations and individuals who have stepped up to support our COVID-19 efforts.

Our city needs DC Central Kitchen’s trademark blend of nutritious food and job training more than ever before. Starting today, an anonymous donor has pledged to match all gifts toward this project – up to $250,000!
Will you help us reach the last 10% of our goal with a gift today?
HELP Us bring the kitchen home!