In the nation’s capital, healthy food is the new agent of change. Not only does it fill hungry bellies, but it also creates jobs and renews lives. Cumulative change hasn’t been a result of one superhero, yet rather a team of dedicated individuals over the last 25 years who work relentlessly to defeat hunger, poverty, and poor health. Curious about this mysterious agent of change? Meet D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK), whose mission is “to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.” This D.C.-based organization began in 1989 as a result of the founder’s experience volunteering with well-intentioned but inefficient programs to feed the homeless. He began by picking up leftover food from local businesses and events and delivering it to area shelters. Fast forward a quarter of a century later, and DCCK still models its humble roots along with many other passionate programs that literally feed the community.
Although DCCK relies mainly on donated food and produce, they do procure some produce in season in mass quantities to take back and flash-freeze at their facility. For this produce, they look to their neighboring Virginia and Maryland farmers to contract, and one of those farmers is David Sours of Public House Produce in Page County.
“DCCK is an incredible non-profit organization that is making a positive impact on their community,” said David, “all the while they are helping to strengthen the surrounding local agriculture community.” Public House Produce is a relatively recent partner with DCCK, but David is extremely excited about the positive impact it has already had in his business and Page County. “Our partnership with DCCK allows us to grow larger volumes of wholesale crops, which mean we will need more labor on the farm, and that means more jobs provided within the community. Every little bit helps, and DCCK is making a big impact on our farm and employees.”
Success stories with DCCK are not confined within the streets of Washington, D.C., and the non-profit believes that radical social change is possible in every community across the country. Check out their website to learn more about this pioneer program at www.dccentralkitchen.org, or follow them on their social media channels.