How to Help
Maryland Food Bank
Pine Street Inn
New York City
sustainable. Curtin says DCCK became
“involved in social enterprise probably
before the word had even been coined.”
This year, DCCK is running five
16-week job training courses with 20 to
25 students per class. These classes help
employ “people who have had a rough
go of it,” says Curtin—second- or third-
generation addicts and those recently
released from prison, who are often the
hardest to employ.
Curtin also discusses the economic
benefits that arise from feeding others.
Instead of the $40,000 it costs to keep
someone in prison, the “spinoff revenue”
begins the minute a student receives his
or her first paycheck and has to pay rent,
ride the Metro or buy groceries. Although
the D.C. recidivism rate is 73 percent
within one year, over the past three years,
DCCK’s rate has been less than 3 percent.
Today, 48 of DCCK’s 115 full-time paid
employees are graduates of its programs,
and although change is immediately
apparent in students, the real mission
remains generational, systemic change.
“While handing a sandwich to some-
one is absolutely necessary,” Curtin says,
“just doing that is not really going to make
a difference. We are never going to feed
our way out of hunger.”
DCCK’s model has been replicated
successfully in more than 40 cities and
has been observed by leaders from Esto-
nia, Japan and Spain. Curtin vows that he
and his team will continue what they’re
doing until the need for feeding the hun-
gry is eliminated.
“We work hard every day to put ourselves out of business,” he says.
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