DC Central Kitchen, Inc.

Rating: 4.76 stars   59 reviews

Issues:

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.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

You don't desired any stars and should be very ashamed of yourself for the food that you prepare to Open Doors shelter. The rotten fruit with mold and it. Salad with rotten tomatoes. Meals with uncook rice and potatoes. The reporter that is doing a story about the food that should be thrown away instead of given to us. You are not going to get away with doing this because I am sure this will affect you donations.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

26 people found this review helpful

I contracted with DCCK for an event at the Junior League of Washington and was incredibly impressed in every regard. Professionalism and positive attitudes abound at DCCK, and the hors d'oeuvres were delicious and the prices unmatched by any other caterer in a 100-mile radius. As a charitable organization ourselves, the JLW also loved the idea that DCCK is giving back to the community. I highly recommend using DCCK for your next event, they were amazing!

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

go to bed happy every night.

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

how friendly and easy Ama was to work with to put our menu together.

Ways to make it better...

n/a

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?

2008-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

22 people found this review helpful

I am the parent of a 16 year old. She LOVED IT. She brought 3 friends a different times and they LOVED IT. That says alot to get a teenager to like anything that much and it is not related to music or some teen function That says alot about your program. Thank you so much! They continue to volunteer just because not because it is a requirement. Yeah! Happy Holidays to you all!

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

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

The teenagers loved it.

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

wonderful and fun

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

spread love and happiness

Ways to make it better...

they didn't have to walk through the alley.

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?

2008-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

DCCK is a wonderful place to go to school. I have learned a lot about the kitchen. I will be graduated in October 08. I learned how to work as a team player and help people when they ask me. And staying focus on my job as DCCK. I love being here and one day maybe I will get a job here. [This review was collected at a site visit to DCCK and inputted by a GreatNonprofits intern.]

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

I have seen all the meals they repair at DCCK everyday and I have help with the meals also.

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

I enjoyed working with the different chef's and learnign from the chef's.

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

The staff and volunteers are wonderful people to be aroudn everyday they helps me and I help them always.

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

be a bigger kitchen and have more workers here and could help out more people.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

I think it's a wonderful opportunity for a person who doesn't have skills to improve their life, get a better job, and help their community. This is wonderful place to start.

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

they way they combat hunger. It's the greatest reward. Even though I don't get paid here, I know I'm contributing. I'm putting in something. It's my turn to give back.

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

not change a thing.

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

learning how to do certain things (cut with a knife, mixing seasonings, meeting my classmates)

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

Ms. Ali was what I needed at the time. I was a challenge, and she's been in my corner since then.

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

produce more cooks, feed more homeless people, get better equipment.

Ways to make it better...

the classes were longer.

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

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

I'd like to thank everyone here at DC Central Kitchen. Please continue all that you do. God bless, stay strong.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

Was this review helpful?