About D.C. Hunger Solutions
Every day in the District of Columbia, nearly one out of seven households struggles with hunger, with uncertain or limited access to, or ability to buy, nutritionally adequate and safe food. D.C. Hunger Solutions, founded by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in 2002 as a separately staffed and funded initiative, seeks to create a hunger-free community and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income District residents.
What's Happening Now
Celebrate National School Breakfast Week with the DC School Breakfast Text Competition
To celebrate National School Breakfast Week, D.C. Hunger Solutions is joining DC agencies and nonprofits in offering the School Breakfast Texting Competition. Through the competition, families at DC public and public charter schools can share why school breakfast is important to them. The contest will begin on Monday, March 2nd and continue until Friday, March 13th; participants will be able to win prizes for their school and for themselves. Share this flyer (English, Spanish) with details on the competition, and help us spread the word about the benefits of school breakfast.
DCHS Director Testifies at Committee on Transportation and the Environment Meeting
DCHS Director Alex Ashbrook testified on February 18, 2015 at public oversight hearing on Department of Parks and Recreation. More... (pdf)
DCHS Director Testimony Online
DCHS Director Alex Ashbrook testified on February 12, 2015 at an oversight hearing, Committee on Housing and Community Development, District of Columbia Office on Aging. More... (pdf)
Washington, D.C. Among Top in U.S. for School Breakfast Participation
FRAC's School Breakfast Scorecard finds that 70 low-income children in Washington, D.C. ate school breakfast on an average day for every 100 that received free or reduced-price lunch during the 2013 – 2014 school year, placing D.C. third in the nation for feeding hungry children. More...
As of January 2015, 285 seniors on waitlist for Home Delivered Meals in D.C.
As of December 2014, 155 seniors were on the waitlist to participate in Home Delivered Meals, a program that delivers nutritious meals to seniors who are unable to shop or prepare food on their own. That number has increased to around 285 seniors in January 2015. It is in the city’s best interest to invest in the safety and care of seniors and ensure that seniors can access vital nutrition support. Follow this link to the letter (pdf) sent to Mayor Bowser and the City Council members on this issue.
D.C. Hunger Solutions is off to a great start with our 2015 SNAP EITC Campaign!
It is not too late to join our growing number of volunteers. We still have two trainings on Thursday, January 29 from 4-7 and Saturday, January 31 from 10-1 — sign up to be a volunteer here. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) season runs from February to mid-April, and our SNAP Outreach Specialists play a crucial role on the EITC team to help connect low-income taxpayers with programs and services that improve their financial stability, including SNAP (formerly known as the food stamp program). Our team of volunteers works to inform the public about SNAP benefits, screen clients for benefits, assist with SNAP application and general case management, and connect residents with other food sources in D.C. To find out more, visit the Community Tax Aid DC’s Volunteer Opportunities page. For additional questions on signing up, contact Lauryn Woodruff at (202) 640-1088 ext. 5059 or at email@example.com.
Winners of the DC Healthy Schools Act Art & Essay Contest Recognized at D.C. Council
Students, families, and teachers from across DC attended the Healthy Schools Act Art and Essay Contest Award ceremony on November 20th at the Wilson Building. The contest, organized by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) and D.C. Hunger Solutions, encouraged D.C. public and public charter school students to submit artwork, poems, short essays and videos showing why their school is healthy. D.C. Council Members Mary Cheh (Ward 3) and Tommy Wells (Ward 6) gave out the awards to the winning students and schools. This year, OSSE received over 200 amazing pieces of artwork from students in grades Kindergarten - 8th that demonstrated the positive impact that the Healthy Schools Act is having in schools across the District. Follow this link to pictures of the event. Congratulations to this year’s winners and to all students who participated!
Prevent Obesity Profiles DCHS Director Alexandra Ashbrook
Now D.C. leads the nation in connecting children to school breakfast. Each school day, 34,000 children in the District start the day with school breakfast, and the District receives millions of dollars in federal funding to pay for nutritious meals and school food service jobs. More...
Take the SNAP Challenge, October 2-12, 2014
D.C. Hunger Solutions, along with Maryland Hunger Solutions and Virginia Hunger Solutions, invite you to join us in taking the SNAP Challenge (October 6 -12, 2014) to highlight the struggles faced by too many throughout our region who can’t afford the food they need. More...
School Breakfast: Start the Day Ready to Learn
Connecting students to school breakfast is a “magic bullet” for reducing hunger, improving nutrition, and boosting academic achievement, all at the same time. D.C. public and public charter schools have much to celebrate when it comes to ensuring that each student starts the day fueled with a healthy breakfast and ready to the learn. However, there is wide variation in average daily breakfast participation among schools, which means thousands of students are not getting the nutrition they need to succeed. School Breakfast: Start the Day Ready to Learn (pdf) is a comprehensive guide that includes tips on how administrators, principals, teachers, and food and nutrition services staff can help increase breakfast participation and meet the requirements of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act.
PBS Newshour: Why summer is the hungriest season for some U.S. kids
Alex Ashbrook, director of D.C. Hunger Solutions: "[Y]ou can imagine, when schools close for the summer and we have eight or so weeks where there are no school meals, that it’s a crucial time to intervene to make sure kids can get the nutrition they need to grow." More...
D.C. Hunger Solutions Report Shows Positive Impact of Healthy School Act on School Breakfast Participation
Making Breakfast Work in D.C., a new analysis from D.C. Hunger Solutions, looks at school breakfast participation and the impact of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act (HSA) in 72 D.C. Public Schools. The HSA, passed unanimously by the D.C. Council in 2010, made breakfast free for all students and required schools to adopt alternative serving methods, such as breakfast in the classroom, to ensure children had easy access to this meal. More...
Washington D.C. Remains First in the Nation for Reaching Children with Summer Meals
The District of Columbia continues to rank first in the nation for reaching low-income children with summer meals. According to Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation, an annual analysis by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), 23,868 low-income children received summer meals on an average day in July 2013 -- a substantial increase of 10.9 percent from the previous summer. Summer meals reached 57.9 students for every 100 low-income children who got school lunch in the 2012-2013 school year, outpacing that national rate of 15.1:100. More...
Good News in the Budget for Reducing Hunger and Improving Nutrition: Three Things You Should Know
D.C. Hunger Solutions applauds the D.C. Council for its passage of a budget that supports important investments in programs that will help the one in eight households throughout the District struggling with hunger. More...
2014 CROP Hunger Walk a Success
The Annual District of Columbia Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty (CROP) Hunger Walk and Food Drive was held on Saturday, May 17th. Participants from across the city walked to raise awareness of hunger in the District and support the work of local anti-hunger organizations. D.C. Hunger Solutions and the Capital Area Food Bank were the local beneficiaries of this year's Walk. D.C. Hunger Solutions would like to extend our thanks to the CROP Walk organizers and participants. Your support helps us to continue our efforts to end hunger and improve the nutrition and health of low-income District residents.
Serving Summer Meals Just Got Easier — New USDA Guidance for Sponsors
Hunger doesn’t take a vacation when school lets out for summer! Fortunately, the DC Free Summer Meals Program provides children and teens with healthy meals and snacks during June, July, and August. New guidance from United States Department of Agriculture Department of Food and Nutrition Services can help ensure that more District youth have access to the meals they need to learn and thrive. Follow this link to some highlights (pdf) of the new provisions related to eligibility and meal service flexibility.
More than 100 D.C. Schools Serving Free Meals to Students in Ongoing Effort to Reduce Hunger
75 D.C. Public Schools and 32 public charter schools with high poverty rates are providing free breakfast and lunch to all students, without requiring students and their families to complete applications. More...
More Than Meals: The Impact of the D.C. Free Summer Meals on Summer Learning
Throughout the summer of 2013, D.C. Hunger Solutions visited summer meal sites in each ward to collect stories about the impact of the summer meals program on DC children and communities. Each of the programs featured received summer meals through the sponsorship of DPR The stories below provide a snapshot of the D.C. Free Summer Meals Program and its role in both attracting children to educational and recreational summer programs and keeping them engaged in activities. These stories provide key lessons for how the District can better leverage public and private partnerships to increase participation and improve health and academic outcomes for youth. More...
Help Seniors Put Food on the Table
D.C. Hunger Solutions, supported by the Senior Advisory Coalition and the D.C. Fair Budget Coalition, is asking the D.C. Council to increase the minimum SNAP benefit to $30 by allocating around $1.3 million in local funds to supplement the benefit for those receiving less than $30 each month. Sign the petition...
Support the Healthy Tots Act
D.C. Hunger Solutions urges you to join us and support the Healthy Tots Act. The Act builds on the success of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act by extending many of its key nutrition, physical activity and wellness provisions to child development centers and family day care homes, helping level the playing field between community and school-based providers. Sign the letter of support...
Grant Opportunity for Organizations Serving Seniors - Request for Applications
D.C. Hunger Solutions is pleased to announce the availability of $10,000 in Walmart Foundation funding to help five senior-serving nonprofits better connect older residents to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps). Grants in the amount of $2,000 will be awarded to five nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. which provide direct social services to seniors. The grant application (MSWord document) is due on April 15, 2014 and the grant awardees will be announced on April 30, 2014. The grant period will be May 1 through December 1, 2014. Contact Catherine Benvie at 202-640-1088 x3042 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We Need Your Help to Celebrate National School Breakfast Week
The week of March 3rd is National School Breakfast Week, and Washington D.C. ranks #1 in the nation for connecting students to school breakfast. To underscore the District’s success, DC public elementary school families are invited to participate in a contest. The contest will officially kick-off on Thursday, March 6, 2014 and continue until Friday, March 21st. Both schools and students will be eligible for prizes. More...
Farm Bill Means Less Food for Struggling Households
The Farm Bill passed on February 5 by the Senate will cut SNAP benefits to an estimated 850,000 households by an average of $90/month. D.C. Hunger Solutions has opposed the SNAP cuts because they will harm too many of the most vulnerable members of our community, making monthly food allotments fall even further short of what is needed for seniors, people with disabilities, children, low-income workers, and unemployed people. We appreciate the efforts of the many members of the House and Senate, the many national, state and local groups, and the many editorial writers and social media outlets that have opposed these cuts and spoken to the importance of defending already-inadequate SNAP benefits against these and other cuts. More...
Volunteer as a SNAP/Food Stamp Outreach Specialist with the D.C. EITC Campaign
Specialist volunteers provide information on the SNAP/Food Stamp program, screen clients for eligibility, and help clients complete applications. Register now – Trainings will be held later in January.
On Friday, December 13th, D.C. Hunger Solutions moved to a new office at 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. Our phone and fax numbers changed also (see below). Our email addresses have not changed. Don’t forget to update your address books! Effective Monday, December 16, our new mailing address, phone and fax:
D.C. Hunger Solutions
1200 18th Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 640-1088
Fax: (202) 640-1085
Hunger Champions: Maret Sophomores Raise Money for D.C. Hunger Solutions
Drew Hager and Will Buckley, sophomores at the Maret School in Washington, DC, wanted to increase awareness at their school about hunger in the city while also raising money for the cause. To do so, they co-founded the group DC Hunger Projects to spread the word about hunger in Washington, DC. The group’s first project educated and promoted the DC Free Summer Meals program. This federal program helps more than 300 sites across the city serve nutritious meals and snacks to low-income children (ages 18 and under) during June, July, and August. Last summer, the programs provided close to 1.3 million meals to kids across the city — helping tens of thousands of children get vital nutrition during the summer when they lost access to school meals.
The two sophomores worked with Maret’s sixth graders to collect donations on Halloween while the students were trick or treating. Through their effort the pair collected $570.00. D.C. Hunger Solutions thanks them for their support and applauds their accomplishments. We are excited for their next event on December 14th from 11-4 at the St. Patrick’s Gifts for Good Drive Holiday fundraiser.
Join D.C. Hunger Solutions and take the Food Stamp Challenge
Can you live on $30 a week for food? At about $1.40 per meal, the average Food Stamp allotment for many Washington, D.C. residents just got smaller with the November 1st cuts. One out of every eight District residents faces a constant struggle against hunger. More...
DCHS Co-authors Washington Post Op-ed and Postscript: Feeding families made more hungry by Congress
November will be tougher than usual for the hungry because it kicked off with a brutal blow to their already- meager food budgets, ensuring that 48 million men, women and children will be even hungrier this Thanksgiving. Op-ed... and Postscript...
DCHS Weighs in on SNAP/Food Stamp Cuts on NBC 4
"We're talking about a family of four losing [their ability to pay for] 21 meals a month." More...
Information on the SNAP/Food Stamp Benefit Decrease
On November 1, families will see their SNAP benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the 2009 “stimulus” federal law. Watch the video below for information on the decrease, and see the DCHS SNAP/Food Stamp page for more information.
Nearly One in Three Households with Children in the District of Columbia Report Inability to Afford Enough Food
Food Hardship 2008-2012: Geography and Household Composition, released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), found that in surveys from 2008-2012, more than 30 percent of households with children in Washington, D.C. said there were times in the prior year when they did not have enough money to buy food that they needed for themselves or their family. More than 13 percent of households without children in Washington, D.C. said they faced the same struggle. More...
12 Percent of Washington, D.C. Households Struggling with Hunger
One in eight households in Washington, D.C. struggled with hunger on average in the years 2010-2012, according to new data released earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service in its annual report on food insecurity. Nationally, more than 48.9 million people lived in households that were food insecure in 2012 – 14.1 percent of all adults and 21.6 percent of all children lived in food insecure households. More...
DC Healthy Schools Act Breakfast
On August 15th, 2013, D.C. Hunger Solutions hosted a Healthy Schools Act Breakfast, in partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and the Commission on Healthy Youth and Schools, for community and afterschool providers. More than 30 community partners attended. Highlights of the event included: an overview of the goals of the Healthy Schools Act, strategies for integrating the District’s health education and physical education and activity standards into community programming, a pre-screening of an interactive map that will show the various health and wellness programs in DC public and public charter schools, and group brainstorming sessions. All participants received copies of the brand new Healthy Schools Act infographic (pdf) and other resources to promote healthy eating and active living in their programming.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray Announces Expansion of District’s Free Summer Meals Program
Starting on Saturday, July 27, 2013, free summer meals will be offered on Saturdays across the District at select Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and DC Public Library (DCPL) locations for children and youth up to 18 years of age. More...
Farm Bill Update and Action: Thank Representative Norton for Supporting SNAP
Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) has joined a sign-on letter that is being circulated by Representatives DeLauro (D-CT) and McGovern (D-MA) in the House. Take a minute to call or tweet your thanks to Representative Norton for protecting SNAP and joining the sign-on letter. More...
D.C. Hunger Solutions Statement on House Passage of Partial Farm Bill
It is unfortunate that the House passed this partial Farm Bill. The nutrition title was not included, and the path that the House majority leadership is pursuing is one that does not bode well for SNAP in the House. Over the past year, the House majority leadership has used every opportunity to try to cut and weaken SNAP. The bad committee Farm Bill, the adoption of the Southerland amendment and others on the House floor, and the Ryan budget proposal all portend a new assault on SNAP after the House action. D.C. Hunger Solutions will continue to work towards a Farm Bill that protects SNAP and D.C.’s children, seniors, and working families.
D.C. Has Nation's Highest Rate Of Food Insecurity For Children: Report
“Too many children in the District go without healthy meals,” Alexandra Ashbrook, director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, recently told The Huffington Post. Her organization addresses hunger and nutrition issues for low-income District residents and works to increase children's access to federal nutrition programs, including school and summer meals. More...
Local Groups Applaud D.C. Council for Strengthening Farmers’ Market Nutrition Incentive Programs
The D.C. Farmers' Market Collaborative (FMC) and DC Greens applaud the D.C. Council and Councilmembers Mary Cheh, Jack Evans, and Yvette Alexander for championing the city’s allocation of $200,000 in local funds to expand and strengthen farmers’ market nutrition incentive programs. More...
National SFSP Kick-Off Takes Place in the District of Columbia
This event wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of community leadership and also folks like Alexandria Ashbrook at DC Hunger Solutions an organization committed to ending hunger in the District. DC Hunger Solutions was founded by the Food Research and Action Center. Since 2002, they’ve worked to end hunger in the district through improved public policy and a strong relationship with the Food and Nutrition Service. They are one of our most important partners. More...
Washington D.C. Remains First in the Nation for Reaching Children with Meals During the Summer Months but Participation Continues to Drop
According to Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation, an annual analysis by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), only 59.8 children received summer meals in July 2012 for every 100 low-income students who received lunch in the 2011-2012 school year – a decrease from the 2011 ratio of 73.5:100 and the 2010 ratio of 80.2:100. More...
DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) Features D.C. Hunger Solutions as Member of the Month
From the DCAYA website: "During the summer months, when children no longer have access to free or reduced school meals, families are left financially strained to feed their children. D.C. Hunger Solutions works to lesson this strain by organizing the D.C. Free Summer Meals Program, which fills the gap for low-income children under eighteen by providing healthy meals and snacks when school is out for the summer." More...
DCHS Cited as Example of Effective Partnership for Change
D.C. Hunger Solutions is excited to be one of six initiatives featured in the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ (WRAG) publication “Beyond Dollars: Philanthropy and BIG CHANGE in the Greater Washington Region.” The publication is a progress report on the 2009 WRAG report “Beyond Dollars: Investing in BIG Change,” which chronicled and celebrated the unrecognized benefits of philanthropy in our region. D.C. Hunger Solutions and our founding funders are featured in the publication – beginning on page 14 – as an example of effective partnerships between a non-profit and funders to create substantial change in the District. The publication details key accomplishments of D.C. Hunger Solutions' work to end hunger in the District. More... (pdf)
D.C. Hunger Solutions Brings Food Assistance Outreach to Low-Income D.C. Residents as they File their Taxes
For the sixth year in a row, D.C. Hunger Solutions has partnered with the D.C. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) campaign, Community Tax Aid, and Capital Area Asset Builders to connect low-income families who benefit from free tax assistance to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps). More...
New Survey Finds 15 Percent of Households in Washington D.C. Reported in 2012 Inability to Afford Enough Food
More than one in seven people in Washington D.C. reported in 2012 not having enough money to buy food that they or their family needed at some points during the prior twelve months, according to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center. “It is unacceptable that so many people across the District are struggling and cannot afford enough food to provide for their families,” said Alexandra Ashbrook, Director of D.C. Hunger Solutions. “These numbers show us that we must make our nation’s safety net stronger, not weaker.” More...
New Report Shows School Breakfast Participation Continues to Grow in Washington, D.C.
The School Breakfast Scorecard, a report released annually by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), found that D.C. served 69.5 low-income children breakfast for every 100 that received lunch during the 2011-2012 school year, which is an increase from the previous school year’s high of 64.2 students for every 100 receiving school lunch. More...
As It Celebrates its Tenth Year, D.C. Hunger Solutions Recognizes D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh for her Work to End Hunger in the District
In recognition of her leadership to end hunger and promote nutrition in the nation’s capital, D.C. Hunger Solutions presented its Hunger Hero award to Councilmember Mary Cheh. Cheh accepted the award at a December 10th event commemorating D.C. Hunger Solutions’ decade of work to end hunger and promote nutrition in the District of Columbia. More...
Volunteer as a SNAP/Food Stamp Outreach Specialist with the D.C. EITC Campaign
Register now – trainings will be held in mid-January.
D.C. Offering Replacement SNAP/Food Stamps
Download the Replacement Food Stamps and Recent Power Outages FAQ (pdf).
Due to Hurricane Sandy, the D.C. Department of Human Services is accepting requests for replacement SNAP/Food Stamps. Current SNAP/Food Stamp recipients are eligible, and must apply by Friday, November 16th at 4:45 PM. Maryland SNAP recipients can also request replacement benefits - click here for more information.
D.C. Council Roundtable on Implementation of the FEED DC Act on Friday, November 16, 2012, 11:00AM
The Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation, chaired by D.C. Councilmember Cheh, will hold a roundtable on the implementation of the Food, Environmental, and Economic Development (FEED) DC Act of 2010 on November 16. Follow this link for information and to register to testify.
FEED DC aims to close the grocery gap and connect D.C. residents to healthy food retail sources. According to Councilmember Cheh’s office, the Act has three goals: (1) to improve access to healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods; (2) to encourage green technology in food stores; and (3) to create good jobs in areas with very high levels of unemployment.
The FEED DC Act brings to the District the kind of innovation that is taking hold in Pennsylvania, New York City, New Orleans, and a growing number of other cities and states. In addition to creating incentives to draw full-service grocery stores to low-income “food deserts,” FEED DC’s funding to D.C. Central Kitchen in FY 2011 helped develop a produce distribution system for small store owners in order to sell fresh produce and other healthy foods to residents in food desert areas of the city.
Food Stamp Challenge Concludes with DC Council Resolution opposing SNAP Cuts and Advocacy on the Hill
Over 50 D.C. residents participated in the DC Food Stamp Challenge which took place October 9-15, 2012. On October 16th, at the conclusion of the Challenge, three advocacy events happened. More...
Download guide to help low-income D.C. resident access nutrition programs...
If you or your organization help low-income residents in Washington, D.C. access social service resources, then this guide may be of use to you. The How to Get Food in the District of Columbia resource guide (pdf) provides information on the various government nutrition assistance programs, eligibility requirements, and information on how to apply in the District. D.C. Hunger Solutions has guides in both English and Spanish. If you are interested in obtaining a few color copies of the guides free of charge, send an email including the number of guides you would like, preferred language, and mailing address to Sheena Simpson at email@example.com.
D.C. Hunger Solutions Recognized as a Community Champion
The Mystics and Capital One Bank recognized DCHS as a hero in the D.C. community because of the organization's efforts to end hunger, reduce poverty, promote nutrition, and curb obesity. More...
District Schools Chosen for National Wellness and Nutrition Award
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education announced ten District of Columbia Schools have been honored among the healthiest nationwide as part of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) Award Program. More...
12.6 Percent of D.C. Households Struggling with Hunger - New Polling Data Show Broad Support for SNAP and Opposition to Cuts
One in eight households in Washington, D.C. struggled with hunger on average in the years 2009-2011, according to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its annual report on food insecurity. Nationally, more than 50.1 million people lived in households that were food insecure in 2011. These numbers show that there are far too many hungry Americans, even while some in Congress propose billions in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). More...