D.C. Hunger Solutions commends the D.C. Council for passing the FEED DC Act of 2010
D.C. Hunger Solutions commends the D.C. Council on its passage of the Food, Environmental, and Economic Development (“FEED”) DC Act of 2010, introduced in July by Councilmembers Cheh, K. Brown, Catania, Thomas, and Wells.
FEED DC is a major step toward closing the grocery gap (pdf) in the District of Columbia. According to Councilmember Cheh’s office, the Act has three goals:
- to improve access to healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods;
- to encourage green technology in food stores; and
- to create good jobs in areas with very high levels of unemployment.
The FEED DC Act is modeled on successful initiatives in Pennsylvania, New York City, and a growing number of other communities. FEED DC will create a public/private partnership to attract and renovate grocery stores in the District’s food deserts. It will designate a “grocery ambassador” in the Deputy Mayor’s office to help grocers navigate through the bureaucratic hurdles of opening new stores. The bill will help existing corner stores sell fresh produce and healthy foods and will provide assistance to farmers’ markets and other small healthy food retailers such as fruit and vegetable vendors. And FEED DC will further establish environmental incentives to assist food retailers in lowering their operating costs.
D.C. Hunger Solutions also is delighted that the Council voted to restore $300,000 for healthy food retail projects in the Department of Small and Local Business Development. These funds will be used to help corner stores, farmers' markets, and other small food retailers sell healthy foods in underserved, low-income areas, as directed by the FEED DC Act.
We look forward to working with Council and District agencies to implement this exciting, promising new initiative. For more information about FEED DC, visit feeddc.marycheh.com.