DC Central Kitchen, which has been serving the region’s less fortunate for decades, celebrated a new, state-of-the-art facility Friday that will enable the organization to more than double its outreach.
For more than 30 years, the nonprofit has provided meals and job training, mostly working out of a basement space downtown.
“The old facility, as I have said, it served us well for many years,” CEO Mike Curtin Jr. said. “We’ve outgrown it; it is not the appropriate place for an organization like DC Central Kitchen any longer, but I’m not gonna say that I’m gonna miss it.”
Later this year, DC Central Kitchen will move into 36,000 square feet of classrooms, kitchens and offices on the Southwest Waterfront.
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“One of the things that the pandemic showed us all was a bright light on not the fact that people are hungry, but why people are hungry, and what we will be able to do here with the space, with the new training kitchen, with the classroom is train 150% more individuals to go down that path of self-sufficiency and liberation, to actively participate in the economic success that this city is now experiencing,” Curtin said.
The kitchen’s mission has always been to end hunger by creating jobs and providing food.
Someko Hanson is one of thousands who graduated from the organization’s culinary program and beat the odds.
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“DC Central Kitchen changed my life,” she said. “It gave me the tools and the skills that was needed to start, manage and operate my very own business. Someone like me who did not go to college, who chose a different path but then wanted to change. DC Central Kitchen did that for me. It gave me a second chance at life; it gave me the opportunity to be successful.”
DC Central Kitchen is still raising money to finish. Celebrity Chef Jose Andres announced Friday he is giving $500,000 toward the effort.