DC Central Kitchen hits milestone of 50 million meals served

Nonprofit DC Central Kitchen marked its 50 millionth meal prepared and served this week. (Courtesy DC Central Kitchen)

Nonprofit DC Central Kitchen, founded in 1989, marked its 50 millionth meal prepared and served this week — a number that is growing faster than ever.

DC Central Kitchen moved into a new production and training kitchen at Buzzard Point last fall, and it says that move has nearly doubled its daily meal production. It now delivers roughly 16,500 meals a day to shelters, recovery centers and senior facilities, working with more than 80 community partners. It is currently preparing meals for 30 schools in the District as well.

DC Central Kitchen is also a training and job-creation operation.

It employs 300 people, half of whom are graduates of its culinary job training program for those overcoming homelessness, incarceration, and traumas including their own food insecurity. In addition to those on the DC Central Kitchen payroll, it counts 15,000 volunteers at its new facility. More than 250,000 volunteers have worked with the nonprofit over the past 35 years.

One of DC Central Kitchen’s programs is its Healthy Corners initiative, addressing food deserts in D.C. neighborhoods that lack access to grocery stores and fresh produce. Healthy Corners has installed food shelves stocked with produce and healthy snacks in retail stores that sell them at below-market prices.

José Andrés recently doubled its donation to the Healthy Corners program to $1 million, which will expand Healthy Corners to up to 60 locations in the District.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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