Building Bridges’ Urban Farms Tackle Food Insecurity in DC
Food insecurity and limited access to fresh produce are challenges that many residents of Washington, DC face daily, particularly for those who live in underserved neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.
Just three grocery stores serve DC’s Wards 7 and 8; only one of those is in Ward 8, home to 80,000 people. Fast food restaurants and convenience stores often fill the food source void.
This is something that Building Bridges Across the River/THEARC is trying to change, through its network of urban garden plots in that part of the city, including a one-acre farm at THEARC. These farms help support a Community Sponsored Agriculture program, or CSA, sponsored by BBAR.
Chris Smith, WC Smith’s chairman and CEO, co-founded BBAR in 1997, and the organization is WC Smith’s primary nonprofit partner.
BBAR’s CSA now counts 400 subscribers. The food grown at the farms is supplemented by produce grown at 50 area farms, most of which are Black-owned. Low-income residents received a reduced-rate subscription, while families on assistance receive the food free of charge.