Program areas at The DC Central Kitchen
Healthy school food: dcck is a leader in The farm-to-school movement, providing healthy breakfasts, lunches and suppers to twelve public schools and three private schools in Washington, d.cDC.c. Emphasizing local and seasonable fruits and vegetables, dcck brings cost-effective dining service to schools that want to offer healthy, sustainable meals to low-income students. In addition to improving access to quality nutrition, The program creates and sustains employment opportunities for individuals who have completed dcck's culinary job training program. Dcck's school food programming has a remarkable 93% student satisfaction rating and engages children in nutrition education and menu design. In march 2020, DC schools moved to a remote-learning model and dcck pivoted to provide unitized emergency meals at 5 dcps locations.
Culinary job training/workforce development: dcck's intense, nationally recognized fourteen-week culinary job training program creates sustainable career pathways for individuals facing significant barriers to employment, including incarceration, chronic unemployment, histories of addiction, and trauma. The program offers industry-recognized certifications and training in food preparation and sanitation in combination with job readiness and life skills coaching. For The year ending june 30, 2020, 120 individuals graduated from The program before it was temporarily suspended due to covid-19. In response to The pandemic, dcck is offering workplace reentry and social supports to displaced students and graduates while directly employing 103 graduates who earn living wages and comprehensive benefits.
Community meal program: dcck uses The production of scratch-cooked meals for our community as an opportunity to create sustainable career pathways, reduce food waste, and build a community dedicated to a more just city where everyone has access to healthy food, meaningful careers, and opportunities to achieve their full potential. For The year ending june 30, 2020, dcck recovered over 578,178 pounds of food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Together, our staff, culinary job training students, and 11,695 volunteers used both recovered and purchased food to create more than 1.2 million meals for homeless shelters, transitional homes and social service agencies, youth centers, children's after-school programs, senior centers, addiction recovery programs, halfway homes, and mobile feeding locations. During The pandemic, community meals expanded to meet The emergency food security needs of our city and dcck offset decreased food donations by increasing our direct food purchases from local small to mid-size family farms and food hubs that have struggled to find markets for their products.