Many low-income areas of the District are considered “food deserts” – meaning residents of these areas do not have enough access to healthy foods. Increasing the number of full-service grocery stores and corner stores selling healthy foods is an important strategy for turning food deserts into oases with opportunities to buy healthy foods.

The FEED (Food, Environment, and Economic Development) DC Act, passed in 2010, aims to close the grocery gap while also enabling more District residents to eat a healthy diet. The 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 created and provides funding for a Healthy Food Retail Program, which helps small grocers (“corner stores”) sell fresh produce and other healthy foods.

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.

Did You Know?

Of the 49 full-service grocery stores in the District of Columbia, only two are located in Ward 7 and just one is in Ward 8. Learn more with our Closing the Grocery Store Gap in the Nation’s Capital report.