Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

DC Central Kitchen, Inc.

20,220 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Employment Preparation & Procurement, Food, Food Programs, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services, Job Training

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.

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not only does DCCK provide 4,500 meals a day to individuals throughout the Washington DC community, they also provide a life changing opportunity to it's Culinary Job Training Trainees. DCCK is such an inspiring place to volunteer. All of the staff are warm and welcoming and are willing to share their stories. DCCK is an all-around great place to be.

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm in Washington, D.C., taking a class for my university, and we had the incredible opportunity to work at DC Central Kitchen yesterday, and the experience was incredible. Before leaving, I was doubtful whether this nonprofit that I didn't know much about would be able to accommodate the 30 people in our group in a way that would allow everyone to be utilized and not be standing around bored. Fortunately, the kitchen is very well organized and the staff is kind and cooperative. Our group received continual directions when needed, and we had a great time. If I lived in the DC area, I would surely be returning a lot. The Central Kitchen is a great project for people of all ages, including those like myself who are in college. Check out the DC Central Kitchen website www.dccentralkitchen.org They have information on there for students about how to get involved at our own schools as well.

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved DCCK! They opened their arms and welcomed my groups help. We were there for a week working every day in the kitchen and loved every minute of it. The people are so nice and grateful for everything we were willing to help with. They were also VERY accommadating as well. I have many allergies, I'm pretty much allergic to life and they still allowed me to work and kept me safe at the same time. They watched over me like I was one of their daugthers. I loved DCCK. It's the best environment with the most cheerful people.

14

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Great experience for my wife and I. We were travelling through the area and happy for the chance to volunteer at DC Central.

15

Volunteer

Rating: 4

A great place to donate your time. This organization not only provides healthy meals to homeless shelters and other community groups, but it trains homeless people to become chefs! I walk out of this place every month feeling like I have accomplished something - and frequently take home cooking tips as well.

21

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've volunteered at DCCK about every other month for the past 18 months and have really enjoyed it. The staff is very nice and professional and appreciate our volunteer services. They let you take on responsibility, especially once they get to know you (after repeated visits). My only complaint is that the briefing at the start of the day can get very long--I've taken to coming late just to miss it since I've heard it before and it isn't so much about safety as about the philosophy of DCCK. But overall, it is fantastic.

19

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience at DCCK was great. I have volunteered there a few times before, I plan to continue. Everyone involved is dedicated and committed to the mission. The staff emphasizes good hygiene during food preparation and quality food. The staff explains the mission to the volunteers and tells them how the food is helping others.

18

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Central Kitchen is a great place to volunteer. I have organized to volunteer with 15 different groups in the last 1 1/2 years. More than 400 volunteers, including 100 young adults have participated. We all had great time. Jerald Thaoma the Kitchen Director, Carolyn Parham the volunteer co-ordinator ar of great help. They help us by getting the provisions, we need. Communicate, in case of Machine breakdowns. They and the entire staff are very helpfull in getting the vegetarian meal prepared in time. They also help in organizing the tour of Community for Non-Violence facility. We are looking forward voulnteer at the least once a month for ever. DCCK is a great place to volunteer. K.G. Venkatraman (Ramani) Hindu Community Service Organizer and donor.

17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization - great people to work with and the ability to make an actual contribution with your time. Mr. Egger even drops by most days which is always inspiring! We've volunteered here for years, and now my son is old enough to volunteer too. Talk about quality time!

21

Volunteer

Rating: 4

We were really impressed with the mission of this program and how everything was interconnected. The tasks we did were so minuscule, but overall helpful when you think about everything the staff at DC Central Kitchen have to do. We enjoyed working together and with our team leaders. We would definitely do this again.

17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hands down - DCCK is the greatest place to volunteer. The staff and fellow volunteers offer comfort and camaraderie, and really let you know that your efforts are not only appreciated, but make a real difference in the lives of many.

24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Central Kitchen was one of the best places I've volunteered at.The staff was very supportive and one of the best I've ever been around with.

21

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Central Kitchen was one of the best places i've volunteered at. I've learn to make good food, cleaned up, washed dishes, and so forth. The staff was very supportive and one of the best i've ever been around with. The chefs know how to prepare food and they teach you ways to do it. That's how i've keep coming back.

22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

D.C. Central Kitchen has not only provided me with a meaningful way of helping the community, but also practical cooking and organizational skills that led to several employment opportunities. This is one of the best non-profits out there and there's no better way to get to know it than by volunteering.

23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm impressed with DC Central Kitchen. I had a great experience volunteering at the Kitchen to prepare food for the homeless. The staff were friendly, patient and emphasise to the volunteers the importance of cleanliness, safety and presentation. DCCK makes a big impact on the community thru their various programs and helps to break the cycle of homelessness.

20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The entire ledership from my organization came out to support the DC Central Kitchen. It was a wondeful experience and the people are truly nice. All federal agencies shoudl consider suipporting this organizatio throughtheir volunteer programs.

25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was the most fun few hours chopping vegetables I've ever had. I really enjoyed chatting with other volunteers working alongside me, and the kitchen staff was friendly and never lacking in jobs for us to do. One tip: wear your baseball cap if you don't want to have to take a hair net.

22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DCCK is by far one of the best places in the DC Metro area to go serve at! The entire staff at the Kitchen always create a positive atmosphere when you go serve and make you want to keep coming back!

25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I always have an enjoyable time when volunteering at the DCCK. It's so much fun that I always try to bring at least one new friend every time!

22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We took eight Cub Scouts and various family members to the Kitchen for an absolutely fabulous experience. The boys learned about the Kitchen's mission to feed and to teach through cooking. We learned about the jobs program and how the Kitchen manages volunteers, food donations, and their 4500 meals per day volume. Nutritionist Dahlia served as host for the day, giving us a tour punctuated by comments from a generous head chef. We learned about how the Kitchen keeps an eye on nutritional needs of the families it serves, and we even had a quick exercise refreshing on the Food Pyramid. The boys were finally able to lend a hand themselves when they mixed some dry food donations into trail mix bags. We couldn't have planned for a better experience. Thank you.