Marriott International and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation have committed $5.125 million to DC Central Kitchen (dccentralkitchen.org), the iconic Washington, DC-based community kitchen, as part of the nonprofit’s Bringing the Kitchen Home comprehensive campaign. The investment is the latest in a decades-long partnership between DC Central Kitchen, The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and Marriott International, especially focused on the organization’s renowned Culinary Job Training program.
“Marriott International and the Marriott family are one of the Kitchen’s longest-tenured supporters. Through recessions, natural disasters, and even a global pandemic, they have shown an unwavering belief in our mission to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build communities as a program sponsor, hiring partner, and strategic thought partner,” says DC Central Kitchen CEO Michael Curtin. “We are honored to recognize this enduring partnership via the Marriott Culinary Job Training Kitchen, the beating heart of our new home at the Michael R. Klein Center for Jobs and Justice.” A portion of Marriott International and The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott’s generous contribution will go toward expanding DC Central Kitchen’s industry-leading Culinary Job Training program, providing vital resources to enroll more students and hire additional Workforce Development staff that will allow the program to grow by 150% by 2025.
“Marriott’s commitment to serving our world and giving back to our communities has been part of the fabric of our company since our founding in Washington, DC, nearly a century ago,” said Anthony Capuano, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “We are proud of the relationship that Marriott has built with DC Central Kitchen, to make a positive impact in our hometown and be a part of their mission to promote food security and provide opportunity.”
Since its inception in 1989, DC Central Kitchen’s renowned training program has provided culinary arts education, career readiness training, and real-world internships to more than 2,100 adults who have experienced barriers to employment, as well as young adults ages 18-24 who are not in school or working. During the three-month course, trainees not only receive hands-on culinary and career readiness training as they prepare to earn valuable credentials, including the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification, but also acquire invaluable interpersonal skills through self-empowerment sessions.
DC Central Kitchen launched the Bringing the Kitchen Home campaign in the fall of 2021 in preparation for its move into a new facility at 2121 First Street SW on Buzzard Point in Washington, DC. The 36,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Michael R. Klein Center for Jobs and Justice opens later this month, housing expanded production and training kitchens, offices, volunteer and event spaces, as well as the third location of DC Central Kitchen’s social enterprise cafe model.
Marriott International has not only been a regular class sponsor and active hiring partner from the program but has provided guest chef and professional development expertise throughout the years; participated in class projects, including judging Cookoff competitions among trainees; and has regularly hosted DCCK students for visits to Marriott International headquarters and signature properties throughout the region for meetings with top executives and industry experts.
DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) is an iconic nonprofit and social enterprise that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation. Our approach provides hands-on culinary job training while creating living-wage jobs and bringing nutritious, dignified food where it is most needed in our city. We serve scratch-cooked farm-to-school meals in DC schools; deliver fresh, affordable produce to corner stores in neighborhoods without supermarkets; provide delicious catering; and operate fast-casual cafes that also provide on-the-job training. To learn more, visit dccentralkitchen.org and follow on social media @dccentralkitchen on Facebook and Instagram or @dcck on Twitter.