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A Note from our CEO

This report marks another year of life-changing work here at DC Central Kitchen, and two full years of carrying out that work in the face of a pandemic. Thanks to the incredible and catalytic support of our community, we have continued to move our programs and mission forward.

 

Our Culinary Job Training program moved to Nationals Park and the Ronald Reagan Building before settling into our re-opened social enterprise cafe in Ward 8 and celebrating our 2000th graduate. We deployed our first-ever food trucks to provide meals during school breaks, transformed the Washington Convention Center into a grocery assembly line, and delivered record quantities of healthy food to small corner stores. We met the urgent needs of the moment while planning for our biggest move yet: transitioning from our long-time headquarters in a shelter basement later this year to a transformational 36,000 square foot facility named the Michael R. Klein Center for Jobs and Justice, where we will expand our programs and help anchor a more inclusive post-pandemic recovery.

 

Because of you, DC Central Kitchen has adapted and adjusted without ever losing sight of our values and unflinching focus on the root causes of hunger and poverty in our city. I hope you enjoy seeing what your support has made possible and look forward to sharing more ‘big moves’ in the year to come.

 

Mike Curtin, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer

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Stories of Movement

Culinary Job Training
Community Meals and Emergency Response
Healthy School Food

Back to School

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our Healthy School Food team has pivoted to meet the urgent needs of our students. This year, our staff served 480,000 locally sourced, scratch-cooked meals to schoolchildren at 18 DC schools and received a 94% satisfaction rate from students. Read about how our staff adapted to COVID-19 restrictions while lovingly keeping students nourished here.

CNN: CEO Mike Curtin talks solutions to food insecurity

On Christmas Eve, DCCK CEO Mike Curtin discussed rising childhood food insecurity and how our Healthy School Food team is meeting the needs of our community with CNN anchor Kate Bolduan.

 

Healthy Corners

Ten Years of Healthy Corners

Our Healthy Corners program marked its tenth anniversary of continuing to bring affordable, nutritious food to underserved communities. Check out The DC Line’s story on how Healthy Corners works with 53 local corner stores to make healthy food accessible for everyone.

A WIC Win

We were part of a coalition of advocates, policymakers, and agency experts who contributed to the passage of the DC WIC Program Expansion Act of 2018, which allowed smaller DC retailers to accept WIC benefits for the first time.  Now, nine of our Healthy Corner stores accept WIC benefits from low-income mothers and young families. Learn more about our game-changing WIC expansion here.

Social Enterprise and Sustainability
Our Biggest Move Yet
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DC Central Kitchen is grateful for the thousands of financial supporters, partners, and volunteers who make our work possible every year. This year, we also welcomed some amazing new members of the DCCK family and mourned the loss of long-time champions whose legacies continue through our daily work.

New Faces

While another year passed without the ability to safely host volunteers, we employed more than 100 graduates of our Culinary Job Training program full-time, at living wages, and additional 401k contributions. In addition to these 100 alumni, we welcomed four new Directors (Melissa Gold, Director of Communications & Marketing; Kisha Marshall, Director of Culinary Operations; Mikeya Kirksey, Director of Workforce Development; and Shay McCray, Director of Café and Retail Sales) and other new faces as integral members of our team.

In Memoriam: Robert E. Torray

In 2006, when we were in jeopardy of not making payroll for the first time in our history, Bob literally answered our call and provided the bridge funding we needed to right our cashflow and secure our first major social enterprise contract. Moved by our progress, Bob and Nancy made the largest donation DC Central Kitchen had ever received, encouraging us to “plan for the future, not for payroll.” Read about the Torray’s full impact here.

In Memoriam: Sarah Tyree

DC Central Kitchen celebrates the life of our thought-partner, advocate, and friend Sarah Tyree, who passed away on December 30, 2021. While we would come to know her as a devoted volunteer and Chair of our Board, Sarah’s relationship with DC Central Kitchen started with a simple phone call more than a decade ago. After getting our CEO Mike Curtin Jr. on the phone, she introduced herself and her employer, CoBank, and asked “how can we help you do more?” Read more about Sarah’s transformative legacy here.

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We continue to generate much of our operating revenue through our sustainable social enterprises. Essential support is also provided by foundations, individuals, corporations, and government grants. 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 2021 and beyond, the financials listed here encompass the fiscal year of 2021, running from July 2020-June 2021. Donor lists for the current fiscal year of 2022 will appear in the corresponding annual report, which will be available in the spring of 2023.

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We couldn’t do this without your support.