Community Service Project

For the third consecutive year, attendees of ARCHIVES*RECORDS: Ensuring Access will have an opportunity to give back to the host city by participating in a charitable service project. In August we will be partnering with the DC Central Kitchen to provide a volunteer opportunity for interested meeting goers.

By Carole Prietto, Host Committee Member

What is DC Central Kitchen?

Since its founding in 1989, DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) has prepared 25 million meals for its low-income and at-risk neighbors in Washington, DC. Its mission is “to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.” Though its headquarters is a bustling kitchen, no meals are served there. Every day, DCCK turns 3,000 pounds of leftover, unwanted food into 5,000 healthy meals. DCCK’s staff loads these meals onto its fleet of trucks and delivers them to 88 partner agencies in the Washington metropolitan area, including homeless shelters, rehabilitation clinics, and after-school programs. The Meal Distribution Program in turn provides a classroom for DCCK’s Culinary Job Training Program, which prepares unemployed, underemployed, previously incarcerated persons, and homeless adults for careers in the food service industry.

This core of meal distribution and job training fuels a host of other innovative programs that fight poverty, hunger, and poor health. A Food Recycling program turns tons of leftover, surplus food into thousands of balanced meals every day. Each morning, DCCK’s First Helping team hits the streets to provide warm meals and social services to chronically homeless residents of DC’s Wards 7 and 8. Thousands of healthy, cooked-from-scratch meals are prepared each day for low-income children at 10 public and private schools in Wards 7 and 8, home to DC’s highest rates of poverty, unemployment, and obesity. DCCK also works with dozens of small, local farmers to ensure that more than 30% of all the food items they purchase are grown nearby, reducing environmental impact and reinvesting in the local economy.

What will the volunteers do?

Meal preparation is DCCK’s most popular volunteer opportunity. Volunteers will serve a three-hour shift at DCCK’s main meal preparation facility, helping DCCK’s staff prepare meals by washing, cutting, chopping, and peeling thousands of pounds of food. Fifteen spots have been reserved for Joint Annual Meeting attendees. The volunteer shift will take place on Tuesday, August 12, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at DCCK’s main kitchen. The main kitchen is located at 425 2nd Street, N.W., accessible via the Metro Red Line (Judiciary Square stop).

For more information about DC Central Kitchen, see their website at
Questions about the service project can be directed to Carole Prietto, of the Host Committee, at:


Image courtesy of DC Central Kitchen.
Annual Meeting referenced: