About Us
Our History
Our Mission

Founded in 2001, The Campus Kitchens Project is the national program of renowned local nonprofit and social enterprise, DC Central Kitchen.  On university and high school campuses across the country, students transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers’ markets into meals for their community. Because food alone will never end hunger, Campus Kitchens also develop innovative local solutions that go ‘beyond the meal’ and target hunger’s root causes. Running a Campus Kitchen builds leadership skills, offers entrepreneurial opportunities, and fosters personal and community relationships that students both use today and carry with them into future careers.

DC Central Kitchen was founded in 1989 by young nightclub manager named Robert Egger. Frustrated and challenged by his volunteer experiences with traditional charitable responses to hunger and homelessness, Robert pioneered a new model aimed at liberating people from the conditions of poverty.

Robert’s idea for a ‘central kitchen’ involved picking up wasted food (which people said was unwise), turning it into balanced meals for shelters and nonprofits (which people said was unsustainable), and using that process to train jobless adults in the culinary arts (which people said was impossible). These concepts weren’t just possible. They were ahead of the curve.

Read More +

After turning the soup kitchen model on its head, Robert became an early adopter of ‘social enterprise’ and started hiring DC Central Kitchen culinary graduates to staff revenue-generating contracts in 1996.

He also instilled a proud ‘open source’ tradition at DC Central Kitchen, helping to start more than 60 like-minded central kitchens across the United States through the 1990s. In 2001, he launched another social venture, The Campus Kitchens Project, aimed at scaling our approach nationally by engaging college students in recovering wasted food from dining halls that they could use in preparing meals for their own community.

The first Campus Kitchen began operations at Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Missouri, and since then our network has expanded across the country thanks to the dedication and imagination of more than 100,000 student leaders. In 2004, Mike Curtin, Jr. joined DC Central Kitchen and The Campus Kitchens Project as our COO and became our CEO in 2007 as founder Robert Egger embraced new projects. Mike’s background as a hospitality industry entrepreneur and advocate for youth engagement has helped DC Central Kitchen build a $9,000,000 social enterprise portfolio, create nearly 100 living wage positions for members of our community overcoming homelessness, incarceration, and trauma, and tap the insights and expertise of young people to support the continued evolution of our programs – especially The Campus Kitchens Project.

In 2017, Dan Abrams joined CKP as the program’s director, bringing his expertise in environmental issues and student engagement to our rapidly growing network.

To learn more about the history, programs, and founding vision of DC Central Kitchen, please visit dccentralkitchen.org.

Read Less -

As a program of DC Central Kitchen, The Campus Kitchens Project shares its mission to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.

Annual Reports & Financials
Financial Statement FY2018
Download
Conflict of Interest Policy
Download
Financial Statement FY2017
Download
Form 990 FY2017
Download
Financial Statement FY2016
Download
Annual Report FY2016
Download
Form 990 FY2016
Download
Annual Report FY2015
Download
Form 990 FY2015
Download
Financial Statement FY2015
Download
Our Leadership
Michael F. Curtin, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer

Mike joined DC Central Kitchen in 2004. Drawing on his experiences in the restaurant business, Mike has spent significant time expanding the Kitchen’s revenue-generating social enterprise initiatives. The Kitchen has received numerous accolades under Mike’s leadership, including the Mayor’s Environmental Excellence Award; the Washington Business Journal’s Green Business Award for Innovation; and the DC Chamber of Commerce 2012 Community Impact Award. Mike is a recipient of the 2010 Gelman, Rosenberg + Freedman EXCEL Award for excellence in chief executive leadership and the Bicentennial Medal from his alma mater, Williams College, the highest honor the college bestows on its alumni.
Kimberly Brown

Chief Program Officer

Kimberly Brown, Chief Program Officer at DC Central Kitchen, has worked to provide educational opportunities for youth and adults for over 15 years.  She began her career as a faculty member teaching immigrants and English language learners at Montana State University and the University of Maryland, then moved to Montgomery Community College where she developed specialized employment-focused curricula and programs for immigrants, refugees and other underserved and marginalized populations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Montana, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland.
Alexander Moore

Chief Development Officer

Alex came to DC Central Kitchen in 2006 as an undergraduate grant writing intern from Ithaca College. He returned to the organization in 2010 after earning a master’s degree from Georgetown University, and became Chief Development Officer in 2014. That same year, he published his first book, “The Food Fighters: DC Central Kitchen’s First Twenty-Five Years on the Front Lines of Hunger and Poverty.” Alex was named one of “Fifty under fifty DC food heroes” by Elevation DC in 2015 and was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to the inaugural DC Food Policy Council in 2016. Alex lives in Washington, DC with his wife and daughter.
Campus Kitchens Project Team
Dan Abrams

Director

Headquarters

dabrams@campuskitchens.org
Having previously served as a Lead Organizer for the March for Science and as an Obama Administration appointee at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dan's committed his career to environmental advocacy inside and outside government. Among his career highlights is successfully pitching John Oliver's Last Week Tonight to produce a featured segment on wasted food, elevating the issue to a national conversation. When Dan's not working, he’s dishing on restaurants, fixing up his condo, or traveling.
Noemi Almodovar Venkatraj

Program Manager

Headquarters

nvenkatraj@campuskitchens.org
Noemi joined The Campus Kitchens Project in October 2017. Before CKP, Noemi managed an economic development nonprofit in Denver. Her favorite part about CKP is the concept of using food as a tool to break systemic barriers to opportunity and supporting a team of amazing Regional Program Specialists. Beyond the office, Noemi can be found planning dream vacations and searching for the best taco spots in town.
Alex Peterson

Program Design Specialist

Headquarters

apeterson@campuskitchens.org
Alex joined the CKP team in 2017. Previously she worked at the federal program Woman Infants and Children (WIC), where she designed population specific curricula and provided tailored nutrition counseling. Alex approaches her work with a love for nutrition and is equipped with a master’s in nutrition education from American University and a Bachelors in dietetics from the University of Maryland. In her free time, she is a yogi and loving dog mom.
Jenny Bird

Regional Program Specialist

Central

jbird@campuskitchens.org
A lifelong love of cooking brought Jenny to the Campus Kitchens Project but the mission and the connections she has made with students and colleagues have kept her there for nearly a decade. Graduating from Saint Louis University with a BA in English, Jenny went on to work in education, publishing, non-profit management and at far too many restaurants and bakeries to count. Her happy places are the mountains and the kitchen.
Samantha Warren

Regional Program Specialist

Midwest

swarren@campuskitchens.org
Samantha joined the CKP team in August 2014, after completing her Masters of Public Health degree at the University of South Carolina and Bachelor of Science in engineering degree at Tulane University. Prior to joining the team, Samantha worked with multiple community groups providing nutrition education and community outreach program development. Based in Chicago, she is the Regional Program Specialist for the Midwest Region. In her free time, Samantha enjoys cooking, baking, and running.
Margot Nitschke

Regional Program Specialist

Northeast

mnitschke@campuskitchens.org
Margot first joined The Campus Kitchens Project as a student leader at St. Lawrence University and stayed connected to CKP as an Alumni Advisor. Previously, she wrote and managed grants for DC Central Kitchen’s development team. Margot is an alumna of the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship, where she designed a racial-equity advocacy framework and built the capacity of grassroots nonprofits to manage volunteers and donations. She also enjoys printmaking and running.
Anne Rosenthal

Regional Program Specialist

Southeast

arosenthal@campuskitchens.org
Anne joined CKP in August 2018. Her pre-CKP experiences include health communications work in New York City, community health program coordination in Mexico, and sustainable development research in Belgium. A native Baltimorean, Anne earned her Masters in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – where she focused on food systems – and her Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University. When she is not focused on CKP food recovery, she enjoys gleaning from refrigerators of friends and family.
Aubree Pierce

Regional Program Specialist

West

apierce@campuskitchens.org
Aubree joined the CKP team in August 2018. After studying food systems through her master’s program at UNC Asheville, Aubree served two terms with AmeriCorps VISTA. She helped launch a food pantry in Montana and worked with a culinary job training program in Alaska. She has also worked in donor relations, food policy, and community organization. Her favorite thing about CKP is that it creates lasting change through empowering students. Aubree enjoys cooking and hiking.