Dc Central Kitchen, Inc.

Rating: 4.76 stars   59 reviews

Issues: Job Training, Food, Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 425 Second St. Nw Washington DC 20001 USA

Mission: DC Central Kitchen turns leftover food into millions of meals for thousands of at-risk individuals while offering nationally recognized culinary job training to adults overcoming homelessness, addiction, and incarceration. We use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities. 
Results: Since opening our doors twenty-one years ago, we have: • 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.
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
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.
Write a Review

See How 3Hrs Can Help

Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

This is (by far) the best organized volunteer experience you can have in DC. I have volunteered at several places in DC and DC Central Kitchen regularly makes we feel appreciated and really makes you work. Other places don't know what to do with you but DC Central Kitchen has a plan and work for everyone who walks in the door.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their amazing organization. They know how to use volunteers and appreciate your contributions.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very friendly and helpful. Some of the best NGO staff you'll find in DC.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

end hunger in DC.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

24 people found this review helpful

DCCK has a wonderful mission and it is a great place to Volunteer. The people are outstanding and show true appreciation for whatever you do.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In the way they use the donated food and the quality of people that gratuate from the culinary school.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing the quantity of healthy food that isw produced for the homeless.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

from all walks of life, with all different experiences, but all with the same goal of helping others

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

feed more homeless, educate more people, and reproduce it self in more places.

Ways to make it better...

No complaints

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

On own

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

28 people found this review helpful

Great organization-- well-organized, focused, and truly appreciative of volunteer efforts. Even when I've had a long day at work and am tired, I'm always glad to have made it over to chop veggies for a few hours. It does me good. Thanks to all for the good vibes!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the dedication and commitment and great attitude of everyone who works there.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

it's an incredibly smart use of people power and resources. It provides a way for all kinds of people to participate-- I've learned so much from my fellow veggie-choppers and supervisors.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, thoughtful, and with a good sense of humor.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make an even bigger dent in the fight against hunger.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

I come weekly as an individual

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

30 people found this review helpful

A small group from my Rotaract Club volunteered to prep food in the evening from 5-8. I appreciated that the volunteer coordinator gave us a brief orientation about the organization and its programs, as well as what we would be helping them with that night and how to be safe in the kitchen. All of us enjoyed our time there and agreed that we would definitely go back in the future.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

were friendly and approachable.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

Great staff and positive morale. Met some great people, and would definitely do it again. Left DCCK with a smile on my face.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very helpful and supportive if you weren't sure what to do. They were congenial and tried to make sure you had a good time while helping others.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Rotaract Club of Washington, DC

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

21 people found this review helpful

I have volunteered with DC Central Kitchen on my days off, usually a few times a month. But since my days off are not consistent, it's great that DCCK has flexible and easy volunteer scheduling, so I'm not committed to a certain day or schedule. The kitchen at DCCK is a well-oiled machine. They have experienced chefs working with volunteers of every level, and volunteers are never in over their heads. They are used to, and good at, having volunteers around.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the staff that I've worked with, some of whom have been through the 12-week chef training program

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

find the most efficient way to squeeze every meal it could out of the cash

Ways to make it better...

I could have seen some of the end-results of our product, ie, where the meals end up.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

This is the BEST place to go if you want to serve and have fun. The people there are so wonderful. They have the best attitudes. It's literally like a family. I want to go so much more that I have gone. I've been there twice so far and each time has been better. The time goes by so quick. I had to leave early the second time and I promise you, I did not want to leave. If you are looking to serve and have a wonderful experience preparing food for the ones who need it and appreciate it, this is definitely the place for you. It fills up quickly because it's so great. They've also added night schedules for people to serve. All I can say is, you have not served, until you have been to the DC Central Kitchen. They take serving the community to whole new fun exciting level.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the community and in the lives of the people who have served there.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

create more openings for volunteers.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that the people are so welcoming. It's a family.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly and lovable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do wonders with the helping the needy people in DC.

Ways to make it better...

I didn't have to leave so early.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

nothing that I can see. Maybe more workers and more sponsors (but everyone always needs more). I must say that they work well with what they already have.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I'm definitely going back to serve.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

The Mississippi Club of Howard University

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

During the week that my group stayed in Washington DC we helped out at multiple organizations to help homelessness; and out of the 6 or 7 service that we did I would like to say that DCCK was the best experience for me. I had fun cooking at talking to the people around e. I thoroughly enjoyed my entire time there , I didn't want to leave. (1/12/2009)

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Ronald and Fred and they were very friendly and kind and informative, I talked to Ronald about school and how he ended up where he was and what got him through and what e is doing today and we talked about family and movies and music and stereotypes. I just loved talking to him

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

YSOP

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

Volunteering at DCCK was a wonderful experience - the people there are truly inspiring individuals that really believe in what they do and are eager to share their passions with you. I learned so much, from how to properly cut 400 potatoes in one shift to how social entrepreneurship can really change people's lives and transform a community. Robert Egger is so inspiring, as are all the people who have made his vision a reality. Go DCCK!!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

talking to both the staff members who have successfully completed DCCK's Culinary Training School, and the other volunteers who come from all over the country.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Well organized, accountable, friendly, and passionate

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

end hunger and poverty in America

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

DC Central Kitchen is an amazing innovative place that takes leftovers from restaurants and other places and turns it into meals for the needy. The chefs and staff are very friendly and I learned some basic cooking skills like how to chop onions and carrots properly.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

talking to the homeless on the streets of DC. Their meals do get to those that need them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to continue doing the same great work it's doing now.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting fellow volunteers and working with the chefs and staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly and liked talking about their experience in the kitchen and why they liked working there.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

create more kitchens worldwide.

Ways to make it better...

the orientation around the kitchen were better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

?

One thing I'd also say is that...

the food is good!

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Gettysburg College

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

 
Flag review