Food Assistance and Justice

Ted Talk: LaDonna Redmond: Food + Justice = Democracy



Table of Contents

Food Assistance Programs

Food Access Advocates

Food Access Resources

Food Justice Organizations

Food Worker Advocacy

Food Justice Resources



Food Assistance Programs

Government Programs

DC Free Summer Meals Program
When school is out, the meals served as a part of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are not available, and due to families’ limited budgets, or other circumstances, children will often miss wholesome meals. The FSMP fills this gap and parents benefit from some help in stretching their food dollars and by knowing that their children are receiving healthy meals in a supportive environment.

DC Office on Aging Food Assistance Programs
Through Aging and Disability Resource Centers and the senior service network, DCOA provides a wide variety of senior services from community dining and home delivered meals to seniors in the District, dietary and nutrition education guidance.

DPR Kids Cafe
Kids’ Cafe is a national program of Feeding America that provides afterschool and summer meals to children ages 5 – 18. The DPR Kids’ Café sites are located in communities where at least 50% of the children in local schools are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. All of our Kids’ Café sites offer some sort of enrichment activities for youth (homework help, mentoring, tutoring, clubs, computer skills, and more).

Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a Federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. It provides food and administrative funds to States to supplement the diets of these groups.

Free and Reduced-priced Meals (FARM) Application
Your child’s school offers nutritious, appetizing breakfasts and lunches each school day through National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs; most schools also offer a light snack or supper to students attending afterschool programming. The DCPS Free and Reduced-meal (FARM) application supports the DCPS Office of Food and Nutrition Services providing students with high-quality meals through federal meal reimbursement.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)
At the State level, the FFVP is administered by the State Agency (OSSE), housed under Wellness and Nutrition Services, School Programs. Selected schools in the District of Columbia receive reimbursement for fresh fruits and vegetables made available, free of cost, to students during the school day. FFVP can be an important tool in our efforts to combat childhood obesity. The Program has been successful in introducing school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample.

FVRx program (Food and Vegetable Description Program)
In 2012, DC Greens launched a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription program in collaboration with Unity Health Care and Wholesome Wave. Since then, more than 200 at-risk DC residents have received prescriptions from their doctors for free farmers’ market produce. These prescriptions can be filled at participating “farmacies,” expanding access to affordable nutrition. With close tracking on both the health center and market side, the Prescription Program provides essential data on the value of nutrition-based health interventions.

Grocery Plus/Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
The Grocery Plus Program, also known as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), is a program that aims to improve the health of low-income seniors by supplementing their diet with nutritious foods. Grocery Plus program is delivered through The Capital Area Food Bank and provides 30-40 pounds of healthy groceries to low-income seniors aged 60 or older living in the District of Columbia. In addition to providing nutritious food, the Grocery Plus program also provides nutrition education to assist participants to improve their health through better nutrition.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
The NSLP provides cash subsidies to assist schools with meeting meal costs while providing students nutritious lunches during the school day. OSSE WNS School Programs administers the NSLP for the District of Columbia and ensures that all participating schools meet the guidelines, rules and regulations as required by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Produce Plus
Produce Plus is a program funded in part by the DC Department of Health and administered by DC Greens where eligible DC residents can receive $10 worth of Produce Plus checks each time they visit a distributing DC farmers’ market.

SFMNP (Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program)
The SFMNP provides fresh fruits and vegetables to senior citizens of the District of Columbia who are eligible for and participate in the CSFP/Grocery Plus. The program expands the awareness and use of farmers’ markets, and also supports and promotes the daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides cash assistance to needy families with dependent children when available resources do not fully address the family’s needs and while preparing program participants for independence through work.

The School Breakfast Program (SBP)
The School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a federally funded meal program operating in public, public charter, and nonprofit private schools as well as residential child care institutions (RCCIs). The SBP provides cash subsidies to assist schools with meeting meal costs while providing students nutritious breakfasts to begin their school day and promote learning readiness and healthy eating behaviors. OSSE WNS School Programs administers the SBP for the District of Columbia.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
WIC is a program that provides the following services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children up to age 5:
– Nutrition counseling and education
– Breastfeeding resources and support
– Nutrient-rich foods (Foods provided by the program supply calcium, protein, iron, and Vitamins A, D, and C.)
– Immunization assessment and screening
– Referrals to health and social service providers
– For women and children over 1-year-old, WIC also provides fresh fruits and vegetables (May – November) through the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP/Food Stamps
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program. The Districts’ SNAP program helps low-income residents and families buy the food they need for good health. You can apply for benefits by completing a State application form. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores and some farmers’ markets.

WIC Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program
The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) allows WIC participants to use their WIC Vegetables and Fruit Cash-Value Check (CVC) to buy fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from approved farmers’ market vendors.

Non-Profit Programs


Arcadia Mobile Market
Arcadia’s Mobile Markets are farm-stands-on-wheels that distribute local, sustainably produced food to underserved communities in the Washington, DC area.

Community Food Works Food Assistance Programs for Farmers Markets
Programs to double farmers market assistance, supplement fresh produce cost, host summer meal programs and connect veterans with nearest resources

DC Central Kitchen Healthy Corner Stores
Fresh produce and healthy snacks are delivered to corner stores in DC’s low-income communities, offering produce to corner stores at wholesale prices and in smaller quantities than a conventional distributor. The stores then sell the produce at below-market prices, making it an affordable option for the consumer.

Food and Friends
The mission of Food & Friends is to foster a community caring for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses by preparing and delivering specialized meals and groceries in conjunction with nutrition counseling.

Food Not Bombs DC
Sharing hot vegan meals with those in need every Saturday from 2-4pm at Franklin Square.

Food Rescue US Food Runner Program
The Food Rescue US app seamlessly connects food donors, volunteer food rescuers, and receiving agencies. Whatever role you play in the movement, getting healthy food to hungry people has never been simpler.

Fields 4 Valor Farms (F4V) Food Assistance Programs for Veterans
Fresh food and produce donations to military families.

Fresh Farms Food Assistance at Farmer Market Programs
Programs to match food assistance and food drives.

Martha’s Table JoyFul Markets
In January 2015, Martha’s Table, in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank, launched Joyful Food Markets to increase access to and encourage consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables east of the Anacostia River. Joyful Food Markets are run exclusively in elementary schools in Wards 7 & 8. In each school, colorful tables are filled with baskets of fresh produce and piled high with healthy non-perishable food, while festive music plays. The markets are joyful community events, where families and children can mingle with volunteers and school administrators while selecting from fresh, seasonal produce and healthy pantry staples, totaling 23 pounds of food per enrolled student. In addition, our markets feature kids’ cooking activities, recipe samples, and chef-led culinary demonstrations, designed to get children excited about healthy eating and cooking.

La Cocina VA
To create opportunities using food as an agent of social and economic change, through feeding, educating and empowering the minds of our community. We offer a program that provides unemployed individuals with job training, culinary certification, and job placement services. We have designed a sustainable food assistance program that takes the meals cooked by the students in our Training Program and donates them daily to low income families and individuals in the area

SHARE Food Network
SHARE Food Network provides nutritious food for everyone in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. Our food packages are available at prices 40-50% under supermarket prices, making healthy food more affordable. SHARE distributes food through a network of 320 partnering host organizations: churches, tenant associations, senior and day care centers, schools and other community agencies. SHARE depends on these relationships with collaborating organizations to carry out its mission. SHARE is accepting applications for new food sites.

Food Banks/Pantries


Allen Chapel AME Church
Bread for the City
Capital Area Food Bank
Capitol Hill United Methodist Church (Our Daily Bread)
Martha’s Table
Miriam’s Kitchen
N Street Village
SOME (So Others Might Eat)
Thrive DC

Greater DC- VA
Food For Others
United Community Ministries

Greater DC- MD
Bethesda Cares
Manna Food Bank
Shepherd’s Table

Find a food pantry anywhere in the country

DC Food Recovery Working Group map of Greater DC Food Pantries and Food Assistance Non-Profits to Donate Food too

DC Healthy Corner Store Program

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Food Access Advocates

Capital Area Food Bank

DC Food Policy Council

DC Food Recovery Working Group

DC Greens

DC Hunger Solutions

Fair Food for All DC Coalition

Feeding America

The Montgomery County Food Council

Prince George’s County Food Equity Council

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Food Access Resources

Brightest Young Things Farmers Markets Guide
The Brightest Young Things guide to the greater DC Farmers Markets.

The Capital Area Food Bank Network
Search engine for food, health, housing, job training programs in DC by zip code.

Capital Area Food Bank Produce Guides
Need more guidance about how to store, prepare or learn about how to eat fresh produce. These guides will give you what you need to know!

DC Greens Community Food Guides
Are you looking for access to healthy and nutritious food? DC Greens has prepared a guide to help you find places to access good food near you!

DC Greens DC Food Policy Summary
DC Greens summaries all relevant DC Food Policy in the last decade via this link.

DC Greens Farm to School Resource Summary
Looking for opportunities to bring fresh, local produce accessible and available at a DC school? DC Greens has got you covered.

DC Hunger Solutions Guide: How to use SNAP/Food Stamps, WIC, and Senior FMNP at D.C. Farmers Markets
DC Hunger Solutions has provided a guide to help you use popular food access programs to purchase healthy, local produce and foods

DC Free Summer Meals Program Meal Finder
Kids and teens under the age of 18 can eat free in DC at specific sites and locations. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education offers a guide about this.

DCOA Senior Service Network Organizational Chart
DC Office on Aging (DCOA) created this  organization chart of all senior services DCOA offers from senior wellness centers to meal and nutrition programs.

WIC Clinic Locations
DC Department of Health has provided a list of Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Clinic Locations.

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Food Justice Organizations


CATA – The Farmworkers Support Committee
CATA is a non-profit, migrant farmworker organization that is governed by and comprised of farmworkers who are actively engaged in the struggle for better working and living conditions

Chesapeake Foodshed Network (CFN) Community Ownership, Empowerment, and Prosperity Action Team

The goal of this initiative is to grow economic opportunities for marginalized communities and build community ownership and resilience (as it relates to our regional food system) through the development of people-led, community-based solutions

DC Fair Food
DC Fair Food is a chapter of the Alliance for Fair Food that works in solidarity, as allies, with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to educate and engage with the DC community about the conditions faced by farmworkers and the CIW’s model of worker-led, consumer-powered social change.

DC Food Justice Youth Summit (Teaching for Change)
The Food Justice Youth Summit is an all-day event in which DC youth lead workshops focusing on issues of food justice. This event provides youth with the opportunity to share their research, ideas, and recommendations on food justice issues as they work with other youth and food justice activists to build a citywide movement for sustainable food systems.

DC Food Policy Council
The DC Food Policy Council is a coalition of stakeholders and government representatives who have come together to identify regulatory burdens on the local food economy, collect and analyze data on the food economy and food equity, promote positive food policies, and guide organizations and individuals involved in the food economy.

Fair Budget Coalition
Coalition to advocate for a District budget and public policies that address poverty and human needs

Fair Farms Maryland
Fair Farms is building a movement of Marylanders of all stripes, working together for a new food system — one that is fair to farmers, invests in homegrown healthy foods, and restores our waterways instead of polluting them

Fair Food for All DC Coalition
an advocacy body that brings together nonprofit partners running food access programs with the D.C. Department of Health. Partners include Martha’s Table, Capital Area Food Bank, D.C. Hunger Solutions, DC Central Kitchen and Food & Friends.

DC Greens Community Ownership Programs
Various community empowerment and ownership programs

Humane DC
a local resource for improved animal welfare options for the greater Washington, DC area

I am Wanda
Women and girls advancing nutrition dietetics and agriculture

The Montgomery County Food Council
The Montgomery County Food Council is an independent council to improve the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of Montgomery County, Maryland through the creation of a robust, local, sustainable food system.

One Fair Wage DC
One Fair Wage DC is a campaign to eliminate the subminimum wage of $3.33 per hour for tipped professionals in DC.

Prince George’s County Food Equity Council
The mission of the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council is to significantly improve public health and community well-being of all who live, work, study, worship and play in the County. 

The Responsible Consumer
An activist resource website and guide to local campaigns and activism

ROC United (Restaurant Opportunities Centers United)
The mission of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United is to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce.


Animal Welfare Institute
Non Profit that promotes the humane treatment of animals through engagement with policy-makers, enforcement authorities, and the public.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
CIW is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work.

Fair Trade America
Working to secure a better deal for farmers and workers around the world.

Farmworker Justice
Nonprofit organization that seeks to empower migrant and seasonal farmworkers to improve their living and working conditions, immigration status, health, occupational safety, and access to justice.

Food Chain Workers Alliance
A coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain.

Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC): Food Initiatives
The FLPC currently focuses its work on the following four priority initiatives: Food Policy Community Empowerment, Food Access & Obesity Prevention, Food Waste, Sustainable Food Production

Mercy for Animal
International non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.

National Black Food & Justice Alliance
National Black Food and Justice Alliance is a coalition of Black-led organizations working towards cultivating and advancing Black leadership, building Black self-determination, Black institution building and organizing for food sovereignty, land and justice.


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Food Worker Advocacy

Saru Jayaraman – We the People: Workers Rising for One Fair Wage

CATA – The Farmworkers Support Committee

DC Fair Food

DC Jobs with Justice

Fair Farms Maryland

National Farmers Union

One Fair Wage DC

 SEIU Local 722

United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) Local 400

United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives

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Food Justice Resources

For Teachers

Resources for teachings to introduce and teach students about food justice

Teaching for Change
Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world.


Events that educate, connect and highlight people to food justice

Afro-Ecology Series
The series is part discussion, political training, and a community- and movement-building exercise conducted by Black Dirt Farm Collective and hosted by Dreaming Out Loud, Soilful City, and THEARC Farm.

Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference
A national conference presented by Black Urban Growers (BUGs), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings.

DC Food Justice Youth Summit
DC Youth Summit to build awareness about food justice issues, both nationally and locally.

Just Food Conference
Annual NYC Conference for over 700 community organizers, urban and rural farmers, food advocates for a full day of workshops, policy discussion and good food.

National Farmers Union (NFU) Women’s Conference
Annual conference aimed at providing resources for women farmers.

U.S Mid-Atlantic Regional Agroecology Encounter
The Agroecology Encounter is designed as a Training of Trainers for People’s Agroecology in the U.S. context.

Research & Media

Books, websites, videos, and other media sources to learn more about food justice

Change Food
Video Library for videos advocating change or better understanding to our food system.

The Color of Food by Natasha Bowens
A Multimedia project focusing on Black, Latina, Native & Asian Farmers

Culture of Collards
A film about the exploration of the heritage of collards and culinary and food justice.

Food First
The Institute for Food and Development Policy, better known as Food First, works to end the injustices that cause hunger through research, education and action.

Nyéléni Newsletter for Food Sovereignty
The international Nyéléni newsletter is the voice of the international movement for Food Sovereignty. Its main goal is to strengthen the grassroots of the movement, by providing accessible material on key issues and creating a space – for individuals and organisations involved in the struggle – to exchange their experiences and share information.

The Responsible Consumer: White Privilege and Racism: Food System
Comprehensive list of all many food justice issues dealing with racism in our current food system.

True Foods GMO Purchasing Guide
Guide to help purchase non GMO products and brands.

 Ted Talk: LaDonna Redmond: Food + Justice = Democracy

LaDonna Redmond is the founder and executive director of The Campaign for Food Justice Now. A long-time community activist, she has successfully worked to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate junk food, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store, and worked on federal farm policy to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities.

Soul Fire Farm: Feeding the Soul, Growing Community

A farm in upstate New York is dedicated to addressing the painful history of farmwork to Black people in the US, while also growing fresh vegetables and community surrounding it. The Laura Flanders Show visited Soul Fire Farm this winter.

No Easy Access: Food Deserts in DC

Fast food joints and convenience stores are often the only options for those who live in food deserts, even in Washington, D.C. WAMU highlights one resident’s journey to buy fresh, healthy food.

Saru Jayaraman – We the People: Workers Rising for Fair Wages

Before the election, workers were already rising up all over the country and have continued to do so even more now, joining the campaign for “One Fair Wage,” demanding higher wages and the elimination of lower wages for tipped workers. The movement helped torpedo Trump’s first Secretary of Labor nominee and is ramping up the fight for a $15/hour national minimum wage. Innovative, award-winning labor leader Saru Jayaraman says that, if we join together, we can end economic inequality in America. Director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, Saru co-founded the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, which has more than 25,000 worker members, 200 employer partners, and thousands of consumer members in a dozen states nationwide.

Food Chain (Full Documentary)

There is so much interest in food these days yet there is almost no interest in the hands that pick that food. In the US, farm labor has always been one of the most difficult and poorly paid jobs and has relied on some of the nation’s most vulnerable people.

Invisible Vegan Trailer

The Invisible Vegan is a 90-minute independent documentary that explores the problem of unhealthy dietary patterns in the African-American community, foregrounding the health and wellness possibilities enabled by plant-based vegan diets and lifestyle choices.


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