No Holiday for Hunger
Zip codes surrounding our nation’s capital reflect an unparalleled perch of privilege, influence, and access. But in this land of plenty, far too many residents face a daily struggle with hunger and malnutrition. Organizations are fighting back. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we spotlight some of the leading food justice champions in DC and across the country.
From the Bay Area to Boston, mobile markets bring farm-fresh fare to food deserts inhabited by an estimated 23.5 million Americans. Mobile food markets service rural and urban areas and roll through cities including Indianapolis, Chicago and Baltimore.
This refurbished school bus provides affordable fresh food to low income, low food access DC neighborhoods. The roving market is supplemented by the Bonus Bucks program that shares resources on nutritious, easy food preparation.
Located in Alexandria, VA, the Center houses a demonstration farm and educational children’s garden that educates students about healthy eating and growing practices through interactive school field trips. A mentoring program also engages new and aspiring farmers.
Fresh Moves Mobile Market—Chicago, IL
Launched in 2011 to counter Windy City food deserts, Fresh Moves loads two buses with fresh produce that moves through Chicago’s West and South sides.
Freshest Cargo—Bay Area, CA
Freshest Cargo sells produce throughout Contra Costa counties, bringing affordable and nutritious food to low-income and underserved neighborhoods. The mobile market also offers community-based food and nutrition programs and information.
The Food Recovery Network, launched by students at the University of Maryland, is the largest student movement against food waste and hunger in America. Three students noticed that good food from the campus dining hall would nightly end up in the trash, sparking a campaign to recover meals and turn them over to hunger-fighting organizations. Today, the Food Recovery Network has 230 chapters and has donated more than 2 million pounds of food since 2011.
Self-described “garden guerilla” Ron Finley envisions a horticultural revolution. In 2010, to counter the scarcity of fresh fruits and vegetables in south Los Angeles, Finley planted vegetables in the curbside dirt strip next to his home. Quietly, tenderly began a revolution. He has turned unused space along parkways and vacant lots into fruitful endeavors and community hubs, where people learn about nutrition and unite around planting, working and growing food.
DC Hunger Solutions is an initiative of the national Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition. FRAC connects the dots between poverty, hunger, and obesity among low-income people and conducts public education campaigns to inform the public and policymakers.