In the capital of the wealthiest nation on earth, one in seven households faces a constant struggle against hunger. Many children go without healthy meals. Adults struggling with low wages wonder if they have enough food to last the week. Seniors must choose between paying for food or for medicine.
Even when families can scrape together enough, a balanced and healthy diet is often beyond their reach. Sometimes the outcome is obesity, an ironic byproduct of having too few resources to purchase good food. The result is a health crisis in the midst of the District’s high rates of poverty and hunger.
Hunger and obesity result from low wages, a lack of information, and inadequate participation in nutrition and other assistance programs. Without proper nutrition or enough food, children do not develop to their full potential and adults are not as productive as they could be. The cost to government and society is far greater than what it would take to assure three healthy meals a day.
Mission and Strategy
D.C. Hunger Solutions, founded in 2002 as an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), works to create a hunger-free community and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income District residents.
D.C. Hunger Solutions utilizes a three-pronged strategy to overcome barriers and create self-sustaining connections between city residents and nutritious food.
- Seek to improve public policies to end hunger, reduce poverty, promote nutrition, curb obesity, and increase the availability of healthy, affordable food in low-income areas.
- Maximize participation in all federal nutrition programs (SNAP/Food Stamps, school meals, early childhood nutrition programs, WIC, and summer meals) through a combination of vigorous outreach, removal of obstacles to participation, and close work with social service agencies.
- Educate the public and key audiences both to the stark reality of hunger’s existence in the midst of plenty and to solutions that are already at hand.
In all aspects of its work, D.C. Hunger Solutions engages a diverse set of stakeholders - city and federal government agencies, community-based and faith-based organizations, businesses, students and families, and anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates. Our work reduces hunger, boosts family economic security, improves health and learning, and brings federal dollars into the District.