Robert founded DC Central Kitchen in 1988. DCCK is the country’s first “community kitchen”. Robert served as its president for 24 years. During his tenure, DCCK helped establish dozens of programs based on the model. He also established the Campus Kitchen Project, which develops high school and college student leaders to recycle food from campus and use school based cafeteria kitchens to prepare meals for the community.

Robert is the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, which is building upon the model of DC Central Kitchen to meet the needs of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable populations.

Robert also founded CForward, an advocacy organization that rallied employees of nonprofits to educate candidates about the economic role that nonprofits play in every community.

Robert’s book, Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding For All, was received the 2005 McAdam Book Award for “Best Nonprofit Management Book” by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.


“Robert Egger has the experience and the ‘audacity’ to tell it like it is in the nonprofit world. He asks challenging questions and has a lot of bold answers. He’s inspiring.”
— Jeff Bridges
Actor and DC Central Kitchen volunteer

“Mr. Egger’s goal has been nothing short of overhauling the way hunger and poverty are viewed, at the same time as managing a community group like a viable business.”
— Financial Times (London)

“In his new-wave effort for fight the welfare gap, synergy is a more important buzzword than hand-out, and his operation has more in common with a start-up company than a traditional soup kitchen.”
– Wall Street Journal

“DC Central Kitchen has turned the traditional approach to poverty and homeless- ness on its head; instead of a hand-out, you offer a hand of opportunity…instead of pity, you offer jobs.”
— Hillary Rodham Clinton
Former Secretary of State and DC Central Kitchen volunteer

“DC Central Kitchen, the country’s oldest community kitchen providing meals for the poor and homeless, has taken discarded food and marginalized people and found value in both. It’s a nonprofit that gives new meaning to free enterprise.”
— The New York Times

“Because of D.C. Central Kitchen, people are given an opportunity to learn a marketable trade, get a good job, and put their lives back together again.”
– Katie Couric
Former board member of DC Central Kitchen


2009 Non Profit Times 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders

2008 Non Profit Times 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders

2007 Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington – Lifetime Achievement

2007 Non Profit Times 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders

2006 Non Profit Times 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders

2006 Oprah Magazine – The Real Sexiest Men Alive

2005 Alliance for Nonprofit Management – McAdam Prize

2005 Volunteers of America – Outstanding Community Service Award

2004 James Beard Foundation – Humanitarian of the Year

2002 World Hunger Year – Harry Chapin Self Reliance Award

2001 Oprah Angel Network – Use Your Life Award

2001 Caring Institute 10 Most Caring People in America


Board Member, The Philanthropic Collaborative

Board Member, World Central Kitchen

Board Member, L.A. Food Policy Council

Board Member, Hashtag LunchBag

Board Member, Phoenix Kitchen

Founding Chair, Washington DC’s Mayor’s Commission on Nutrition

Founding Chair, Street Sense

Co-Convener, 2006 Nonprofit Congress

Robert is also…

An American Red Cross blood donor. He has donated 15-gallons blood of blood to date.

An honorary citizen of Peoria, IL.