DC Central Kitchen, Inc. Overview
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District of Columbia 20001
Target demographics: Our Meal Distribution program provides quality nutrition to 4,500 children, families, adults, and seniors each day. Recipients of our meals are clients of our 100 partner social service agencies, and thus represent a wide-cross section of our community, but all represent low-income and at-risk populations.
Our Culinary Job Training students are unemployed adults working to overcome histories of substance abuse, incarceration, and homelessness. Nearly all are DC residents and approximately 80% of each class identify themselves as African-American.
Our Healthy Returns program provides healthy meals and snacks, along with nutrition education, to low-income children in Washington, DC. Last year, 1,300 children benefited from Healthy Returns’ programming.
Our First Helping street-level outreach program serves chronically homeless men and women in DC—specifically in downtown’s Golden Triangle District and Wards 7 and 8 east of the Anacostia River. Notably, we are the only outreach service working east of the river.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: DCCK volunteers have three meaningful ways to spend three hours. Most (some 10,000 people in 2009) join our morning meal production shift. Between 9 am and noon, these individuals will work alongside DCCK staff and culinary trainees to prepare 4,500 meals for hungry and at-risk members of the DC community.
But not everyone is a morning person. We also offer an evening shift from 5 to 8 pm when our volunteers slice and dice fresh local produce recovered from area farms. The finished products are bagged and sealed for use in future DCCK meal production.
Finally, volunteers can also join our First Helping street-level outreach team. Each morning, First Helping volunteers serve breakfast to chronically homeless individuals at 4 locations in DC, offering hot meals and warm conversation. Volunteers are supported by highly qualified outreach workers with extensive knowledge of the areas and individuals they serve. First Helping volunteers must be 18 or older.
To learn more, visit http://www.dccentralkitchen.org/volunteer. We would love to see you around the Kitchen.
Geographic areas served: Washington, DC
Programs: Our programs provide a comprehensive continuum of care to the people we serve. First, we provide breakfast, outreach, and counseling services to chronically homeless people living on the streets. Next we recycle 3,000 pounds of food each day, converting it into 4,500 meals we distribute to 100 shelters, transitional homes, and rehabilitation clinics throughout the DC area. These partner agencies then refer clients to our Culinary Job Training program, where they receive the tools to start new careers. We complete the empowerment process by employing our graduates in our full-service catering company or by placing them in full-time jobs at restaurants and hotels throughout the region. Today, we are expanding our operations, partnering with local farmers to procure fresh produce and begin new revenue-generating social enterprises.
• Served over 21 million meals—now in the amount of 4,500 each day—to our region’s hungry and homeless men, women, and children through our Food Recycling and Meal Distribution program.
• Graduated nearly 800 once-homeless and hungry men and women from our Culinary Job Training program. Since the economic crisis of 2008, our graduates have attained a 94% job placement rate and seen their starting average hourly salary increase over our earlier trainees.
• Engaged a daily average of 250 chronically homeless men and women through conversation and breakfast through our First Helping program, building relationships and connecting them with vital services.
• Recruited hundreds of thousands of volunteers for the fight against hunger. Last year, 14,000 individuals donated their time and talents to our organization.
• Replicated our model on the campuses of 26 colleges and high schools across America through our student-powered hunger relief program, The Campus Kitchens Project. Since 2001, CKP has recovered more than 1,000,000 pounds of food and served over 1,000,000 meals.
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