As the nation’s first and leading community kitchen, DC Central Kitchen uses food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.


The MISSION of the DC Central Kitchen is to develop and operate social ventures targeting the cycle of hunger and poverty.


Why is it important?
  • The DC Central Kitchen faces the challenge that 1 in 6 D.C. households struggles to afford enough food, only proving that hunger is only the symptom of a deeper problem: poverty.
  • With DCCK’s job training opportunities, a graduate with a criminal record is 90% less likely to re-offend and return to prison than the national average.
How do they do it?

DC Central Kitchen fights hunger differently, by training jobless adults for culinary careers and then hiring dozens of their own graduates to prepare the 3 million meals they provide for homeless shelters, schools, and nonprofits each year. Their ventures also prevent the waste of millions of pounds of nutritious food, expand access to healthy, local options in urban food deserts, and scale their model nationally through strategic partnerships with colleges and universities.

By preparing adults with high barriers to employment for culinary careers and creating good, living-wage jobs for graduates at DC Central Kitchen, they target the root cause of hunger by offering pathways out of poverty. DCCK’s commitment to earning at least half their budget through social enterprise, purchasing directly from local farms, recovering otherwise-wasted food, and engaging the next generation of student leaders to further advance sustainability and extend their impact throughout the food system.

Each of DC Central Kitchen’s social ventures creates opportunities for meaningful careers, expands access to healthier foods and tests innovative solutions to systemic failures. Such ventures are: Culinary Job Training, providing community meals to local shelters and homeless, serving healthy school food to low income students, delivering healthy snacks and fresh produce to corner stores in DC’s food deserts, and the Campus Kitchen’s project which empowers the next generation to fight food waste and hunger on a national scale.

How you can #TravelKindly:
  • Choose the DC Central Kitchen as your local charity when you book hotels with Kind Traveler.
  • Set aside time to volunteer with kitchen staff to cut, chop, peel and prep food in the DC Central Kitchen – no cooking or food service experience is required!
  • Support their signature fundraising event, DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight 

Hotel: The Liaison Capitol Hill


  Washington, DC

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