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DC Central Kitchen

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Founded in 1989, DC Central Kitchen’s mission is to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities. DC Central Kitchen is an iconic nonprofit and social enterprise that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation. The organization provides hands-on culinary job training for individuals facing high barriers to employment while creating living wage jobs and bringing nutritious, dignified food where it is most needed. DC Central Kitchen’s social ventures include serving scratch-cooked farm-to-school meals in DC schools, delivering fresh, affordable produce to corner stores in neighborhoods without supermarkets, and operating a fast-casual cafe.

 

DC Central Kitchen: Using Low-Code Automation to Efficiently Fight Hunger Differently

 

Business Problem

DC Central Kitchen was reliant on manual processes and needed a modern case management system that could scale and help them become more efficient.

Appian Solution

Since 2019, Appian and its employees have been providing DC Central Kitchen with its Low-Code Automation Platform at no cost, along with access to low-code development expertise and resources. Appian has worked closely with DC Central Kitchen staff to deliver critical applications and automations, including helping them automate their Healthy Corners and Community Meals programs. The Appian Workforce Safety app also allowed staff to safely work on-site throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to continue fulfilling their mission. 

DC Central Kitchen staff use Appian to manage the full life cycle of the Healthy Corners wholesale grocery delivery process from receiving an order from the corner store owner through delivery and payment. The app also notifies community members of the products being delivered to their local stores, maximizing the program’s impact. 

Appian similarly automated the Community Meals program, allowing staff to digitally track food items, menus, and orders. Previously, the creation of delivery tickets and production sheets was a manual, paper-based, and error-prone process for staff. Now, Appian automatically produces these governing documents—including instantaneous updates when order or delivery data changes—while also collecting performance data for analysis. By providing food to those in need more efficiently, DC Central Kitchen staff can now dedicate more time to other initiatives.