Five questions with DC Central Kitchen’s CEO

Recently, Bank of America sat down with Mike Curtin, Jr., CEO of DC Central Kitchen, a Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® award recipient, to share the organization’s mission of addressing hunger and poverty in Greater Washington, D.C. and explore how DC Central Kitchen is making an impact in the communities it serves.

What have you done differently at DC Central Kitchen that you believe has contributed to changes in the field?

DC Central Kitchen fights hunger differently by integrating career training, living wage job creation, and entrepreneurial strategies for sustainably expanding access to healthy food. Our belief that food alone will never end hunger has helped inspire nearly 100 like-minded ‘community kitchens’ based on our job training and social enterprise model across the United States.

What have you learned from your time working to fight hunger and use food as a tool for economic mobility?

Poverty and hunger are complex challenges, and their roots go deep. But you can make progress every day if you stay relentlessly focused on treating everyone with respect, making the most of every resource you have, being open to sharing and learning, and working to put yourself out of a job by creating them for others.

As a previous Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® award recipient and a long-term strategic partner, how has the bank’s funding supported DC Central Kitchen’s mission in the DC area?

Funding over the years has supported DC Central Kitchen by supplying kitchen equipment, software development, culinary job training, and leadership development training.  

What is your biggest piece of advice to future participants in the Neighborhood Builders® program?

Seize this moment to take chances in service of your mission and your community. You’re now part of a unique network of community leaders, so leverage the connections you make through this program, the visibility, and the financial investment to put yourselves on an even more aggressive trajectory for changing lives and solving challenges.

How can people get involved?

We are always looking for dedicated volunteers help us transform wasted food into balanced meals for our community. Volunteers can work with our kitchen staff to cut, chop, peel and prep food in our kitchen – no cooking or food service experience required.

Mike Curtin next to bus with text Creating Opportunity

Mike Curtin, CEO of DC Central Kitchen, a Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® award recipient.

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man chopping food in kitchen

DCCK operates a Culinary Job Training program, providing culinary education and internships for adults who have experienced barriers to employment.

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man smiling and working in kitchen

DC Central Kitchen culinary student works with staff in the training kitchen preparing healthy meals for partner nonprofits serving those in need.

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volunteer working in kitchen

DCCK volunteers working with locally-sourced foods to prepare healthy meals for DC residents.

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Mike Curtin in kitchen

Mike Curtin, DCCK CEO, helps transform otherwise wasted food into healthy meals for the community.

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