Today, I visited the DC Central Kitchen along with the Give Back(packing) team. I was very impressed with several of the innovative programs they have put in place to create long-term solutions to the interconnected problems of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. They are truly using food as a tool to strengthen their community.
The USDA estimates that each year, America wastes 20% of its food supply. But if we saved that food before it hit the landfills, we could feed 49 million Americans annually. DC Central Kitchen has been fighting food waste by recovering leftover food from major food service corporations each day.
Every day, the DC Central Kitchen takes 3,000 pounds of leftover, unwanted food from the community and turn it into 5,000 meals that are delivered to partner agencies like homeless shelters, rehabilitation clinics, and afterschool programs.
Healthy School Food
DC Central Kitchen prepares healthy, homemade meals for low-income children at ten public and private schools through Washington, DC. They are proving that healthy meals can be enjoyable for children, affordable for school districts, and valuable for teachers who need children to be nourished and focused.
Culinary Job Training
The DC Central Kitchen also works to address the root cause of hunger by preparing unemployed, underemployed, previously incarcerated persons, and homeless adults for careers in the foodservice industry. Their 14-week Culinary Curriculum covers all facets of work in a professional kitchen. The Workforce Development Coordinator also teaches the importance of job-readiness skills such as punctuality, resume writing, computer literacy, interviewing techniques, positive work attitude, and teamwork.