Mike Curtin
DC Central Kitchen
Washington, D.C.

In a city with enough restaurants, bars, and clubs to keep the country’s lawmakers sufficiently entertained, it’s pretty much guaranteed that tons of food goes to waste every day. (And we don’t just mean meals served to Tea Partiers — heyyooo!) DC Central Kitchen spins surplus food into healthy meals and delivers those meals to low-income residents.

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In addition to collecting excess food from local businesses, DC Central Kitchen contracts with local farmers (from southern Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley). The organization also runs a program that distributes lunches made with fresh, locally grown produce to five D.C. schools. The organization’s catering operation even provides jobs and a chef training program for people transitioning out of homelessness, imprisonment, or addiction; it graduates 120 students per year.

The mission: Elevate the food game for those in need:

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Says Curtin, the org’s CEO: “We’ve been able to increase the quality of the product that we deliver to the city shelters and other social service agencies.”

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