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McGovern Highlights Success of D.C. Central Kitchen in Feeding Hungry and Providing Job Training

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Washington, May 18, 2017 | comments
"In Congress, we need to support our federal anti-hunger programs and help those who struggling to put food on the table. At a time when progress in Washington is stalled, today was a proud day for bipartisanship."
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Today U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee and a leading voice in the fight against hunger, spoke on the House floor to continue raising awareness about hunger and highlight the success of D.C. Central Kitchen in both preparing vulnerable adults for employment in the culinary industry and also in providing millions of meals for hungry families. Click Here For Video of Today’s Speech.

“What makes DC Central Kitchen so special is it works to train and empower adults with high barriers to employment through its successful job training program. After graduating, 90 percent of the program’s participants find jobs in restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, schools, and other parts of the culinary industry. So not only does the program offer participants the training they need to enter the workforce, it also helps local business owners staff their companies with motivated and trained individuals. It’s a successful model that should be replicated.

“A core aspect of D.C. Central Kitchen’s mission is feeding hungry children, seniors, and other vulnerable adults. Each day, the kitchen uses 3,000 pounds of donated and recovered food to make 5,000 healthy meals. In the past year alone, the Kitchen has delivered 1.8 million meals to 80 partner agencies!

“Last year alone, the Kitchen prepared a million meals and snacks, and at least 50 percent of every plate was made of locally sourced produce. The program is supporting local farmers, as well!

“D.C. Central Kitchen is also working to expand its reach across the country by engaging high schools and college students with its successful campus kitchens project. On 53 high school and college campuses, students work to fight hunger and food waste by turning surplus food into healthy meals for those in need.

“But, during our visit we were also reminded that charities like D.C. Central Kitchen can’t do it alone. They are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to alleviating hunger and helping our most vulnerable neighbors back to work. In Congress, we need to support our federal anti-hunger safety net and commit to long term investments in areas like job training, housing, addiction recovery, and education, just to name a few.

“At a time when progress in Washington is stalled, it was refreshing to join a bipartisan group from the House Agriculture Committee in accomplishing something!

“We all need to do more to help those who are having trouble putting food on the table, so it was great to chop peppers, carrots, and radishes to help make nutritious salads for those in need. It was a great reminder that working together, we can end hunger now.”



Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Speech:

“This week I joined my colleague Representative GT Thompson of Pennsylvania on a visit to D.C. Central Kitchen.

“GT serves as the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Nutrition Subcommittee, and I serve as the Ranking Democratic Member. Our Committee oversees federal nutrition and anti-hunger programs, including SNAP, our nation’s first line of defense against hunger in communities across this country.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the incredible staff, students, and volunteers of D.C.Central Kitchen for years, and I’m so pleased GT was able to join us this week to experience firsthand the impact this organization has on the DC community. I very much appreciate his commitment to nutrition, and his support for anti-hunger initiatives.

“During our visit this week, we heard from the Kitchen’s CEO Michael Curtin. I continue to be inspired by Mike’s commitment to and passion for alleviating hunger and offering some of the most vulnerable adults in this community the opportunity for a second chance.

“What makes DC Central Kitchen so special is its mission – not only does the organization work to address the immediate nutritional needs of local residents, but it works to train and empower adults with high barriers to employment through its successful job training program.

“This preeminent job training program prepares vulnerable adults – those with difficult histories of incarceration, addiction, homelessness, trauma, and chronic unemployment – for careers in the culinary industry. Importantly, students of the program also receive career readiness training and self-empowerment counseling. As Mike pointed out during our visit, these important components of the program are a big part of why students are able to find – and keep – jobs after graduating.

“The program works! After graduating, 90 percent of the program’s participants find jobs in restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, schools, and other parts of the culinary industry. So not only does the program offer participants the training they need to enter the workforce, it also helps local business owners staff their companies with motivated and trained individuals. It’s a successful model that should be replicated.

“A core aspect of D.C. Central Kitchen’s mission is feeding hungry children, seniors, and other vulnerable adults. Each day, the kitchen uses 3,000 pounds of donated and recovered food to make 5,000 healthy meals. In the past year alone, the Kitchen has delivered 1.8 million meals to 80 partner agencies!

“A majority of the meals are delivered to at-risk children in afterschool programs, emergency shelters, adult education and services providers, child and youth services providers, and homeless shelters, but transitional housing, rehabilitation, drug treatment, and domestic violence shelters also receive food from the Kitchen as well.

“I’m particularly impressed by the reach of D.C. Central Kitchen’s school food program, which provides healthy meals to kids in 15 local schools. Last year alone, the Kitchen prepared a million meals and snacks, and at least 50 percent of every plate was made of locally sourced produce. The program is supporting local farmers, as well!

“D.C. Central Kitchen is also working to expand its reach across the country by engaging high schools and college students with its successful campus kitchens project. On 53 high school and college campuses, students work to fight hunger and food waste by turning surplus food into healthy meals for those in need.

“On top of all of this, D.C. Central Kitchen also has a successful catering arm that uses locally-sourced produce to create healthy and delicious meals for special events. The catering, coupled with private donations, help to fund the Kitchen’s programs and invest in these incredible students.

“During our visit earlier this week, we saw first-hand the positive impact DC Central Kitchen is having on the community. We were able to meet some of the Kitchen’s students, volunteers, and graduates who are now working at the Kitchen. They are inspirational!

“But, during our visit we were also reminded that charities like D.C. Central Kitchen can’t do it alone. They are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to alleviating hunger and helping our most vulnerable neighbors back to work. In Congress, we need to support our federal anti-hunger safety net and commit to long term investments in areas like job training, housing, addiction recovery, and education, just to name a few.

“At a time when progress in Washington is stalled, it was refreshing to join my colleague GT, his staff, and a bipartisan group from the House Agriculture Committee in accomplishing something!

“We all need to do more to help those who are having trouble putting food on the table, so it was great to chop peppers, carrots, and radishes to help make nutritious salads for those in need.

“It was a great reminder that working together, we can end hunger now.”

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