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DC Central Kitchen Prepares to Move Into the House That Good Business Built

Washington, DC – June 2022 – After more than three decades, DC Central Kitchen, the nation’s first and leading community kitchen, is preparing to pack up its shelter basement headquarters for a new home at The Michael R. Klein Center for Jobs & Justice. Over the past two years, the social enterprise nonprofit has undertaken a high-profile comprehensive campaign to raise $35 million towards the expansion of its award-winning programs in this new building. The campaign has won support from private donors, notable foundations, and a $5 million New Markets Tax Credit financing package developed in partnership with CAHEC New Markets, Chase, and Reinvestment Fund.  

“The Klein Center is more than just a building for us,” says DC Central Kitchen CEO Michael Curtin, Jr. “Our new home will allow us to triple our capacity, providing the healthy food and job training opportunities that our community needs more urgently than ever before. It’s the house that good business built.” DC Central Kitchen’s combination of job training services, healthy food programs, and food recovery efforts generated over $80 million in measurable economic, social, and environmental benefits for its community in its outdated, overcrowded headquarters, a figure set to expand dramatically in its new home. 

Strategically located steps from the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge connecting Wards 6 and 8 in southwest DC’s Buzzard Point neighborhood, DC Central Kitchen’s new 36,000-square-foot facility will be a hub for the communities it serves, providing opportunities for DC’s young people, long-time residents, and returning citizens from both sides of the Anacostia River, as well as the organization’s scores of hiring partners in the city’s reemerging hospitality sector. In addition to its state-of-the-art production and training kitchens, the Klein Center will include a dedicated volunteer workspace and meeting facilities, as well as the nonprofit’s third social enterprise quick-service café offering on-the-job training to Culinary Job Training (CJT) students and full-time living wage jobs for its graduates.  

“CAHEC New Markets provides New Markets Tax Credit financing to organizations like DC Central Kitchen that create new opportunities and positive change in their communities,” says Brian Oxford CAHEC’s Manager, Community Capital. “DC Central Kitchen’s innovative social enterprise model aligns directly with our goals by magnifying the social and economic impacts beyond the individuals receiving Culinary Job Training to the broader community that has improved access to healthy foods and local businesses can thrive with a pipeline of quality staff.” 

Due in part to the financial resources provided from the New Markets Tax Credit investment, DC Central Kitchen plans to expand its industry leading CJT program for adults and opportunity youth by 150 percent, create 50 new jobs, expand its volunteer network from 16,000 to 25,000 volunteers annually, and generate over $200 million in annual financial impact for the community by 2025. 

“We’re proud to support DC Central Kitchen with New Markets Tax Credit financing to expand its vital work providing job training and nutritious food in our nation’s capital,” says Courtney Nolan, Vice President, Community Development Banking, Chase. “Addressing hunger and poverty together takes an innovative, multi-faceted approach, which DC Central Kitchen does by putting job creation, training and social enterprise at the center of its work. NMTC financing allows us to help our lending recipients use creative solutions to build healthy communities where everyone can thrive.”

“Financing an equitable, racially-just, sustainable and inclusive food system has been core to Reinvestment Fund’s mission and our New Markets Tax Credit program for close to two decades,” says Michael Pokorny, Regional Director of Lending and Investments at Reinvestment Fund. “We are pleased to be able to continue that commitment by supporting DC Central Kitchen’s new home, which will strengthen the institutional food supply chain, produce healthy food and meals, as well as create quality jobs and career pathways for those who face high barriers to employment.” 

For more information about DC Central Kitchen’s Bringing the Kitchen Home Campaign, visit bringingthekitchenhome.org.  

About DC Central Kitchen 

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. DCCK has been featured in national media including The Washington PostThe Atlantic, National Geographic, PBS NewsHour, and more. To learn more, visit dccentralkitchen.org or follow @dccentralkitchen on Instagram and @dcck on Twitter.  

About CAHEC 

CAHEC’s mission is to provide communities with affordable housing and opportunities for growth and revitalization by investing in qualified tax credit products. We envision sustainable communities, offering housing and life-changing opportunities to their residents. CAHEC is a nonprofit tax credit syndicator that helps develop and foster healthy neighborhoods by raising equity capital and investing in affordable rental housing and community revitalization. To further our impact on communities, we go beyond simply financing the development of housing to provide residents in our footprint with economic, educational, and enrichment opportunities. CAHEC New Markets, LLC is an affiliate of CAHEC and a Community Development Entity certified by the CDFI Fund. Since inception, CAHEC New Markets has been awarded $220 million of New Markets Tax Credit allocation, and currently focuses on investing in community facility real estate developments that improve access to critically needed services and quality employment in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions. https://www.cahec.com/ 

About JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading financial services firm based in the United States of America (“U.S.”), with operations worldwide. JPMorgan Chase had $4.0 trillion in assets and $294.1 billion in stockholders’ equity as of March 31, 2022. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. Under the J.P. Morgan and Chase brands, the Firm serves millions of customers in the U.S. and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients globally. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.  

About Reinvestment Fund 

Reinvestment Fund is a mission-driven financial institution committed to making communities work for all people. As a federally certified community development financial institution (CDFI), we bring financial and analytical tools to partnerships that work to ensure that everyone has access to essential opportunities: affordable places to live, access to nutritious food and health care, schools where their children can flourish, and strong, local businesses that support jobs. We use data to understand markets, communities, and impediments to opportunity—and how investment and policy decisions can have the most powerful impact. Since our inception in 1985, Reinvestment Fund has provided over $2.7 billion in financing to strengthen neighborhoods, scale social enterprises, and build resilient communities. https://www.reinvestment.com/ 

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