DC FREE Summer Meals Program

Access to healthy food and good nutrition should be a right for all, but it is especially important for our children. A consistent diet of good food helps lay a strong foundation for future physical and mental health, improves success in school and, ultimately, economic productivity. Unfortunately, 27% of DC children live below the federal poverty line – that number drops slightly in Columbia Heights to 22%[1] but is still above our national average[2] and overall, DC ranks 7th in the nation for child food insecurity defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as households with limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate and safe food.

DC public schools help to stem deficiencies in access to healthy food by providing breakfast, lunch, and (at some schools) supper to more than 48,000 students. Throughout the school year, 70% of DC Public and Charter school students rely on their school meal program for the bulk of their nutrition and for too many, this may be their only regular, consistent food and this need doesn’t end when school lets out for holidays, emergency days off, and summer vacation. Hunger doesn’t take a vacation and during these periods too many kids go without access to food. The good news is that the DC Free Meal Program helps bridge the summer gap by working to make sure that ALL youth under the age of 19 continue to have access to free, healthy food – breakfast, lunch, and snacks – from June until August every weekday with a few sites providing meals on Saturday, too.

Summer meals and snacks will be served at sites across the city. Just by dropping into a participating site, any child or teen will be fed without needing to fill out any applications or provide proof of age and income. Most of our DC Parks and Recreation Centers and 46 DC Public schools have been designated as participants in this program along with a variety of community and faith-based programs and Public Charter Schools. The summer meal program is administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) using federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of agriculture. A list of sites can be found by texting “Food” to 877-877 or clicking on this link: https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

SITES NEAR COLUMBIA HEIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Banneker Recreation Center
  • Columbia Heights Recreation Center
  • Mount Pleasant Library
  • Park Morton Community Room
  • Park Road Community Church
  • Parkview Recreation Center
  • Rita Bright FYC
  • Columbia Heights Farmers Market

 

**PLEASE NOTE: USDA IS IN THE PROCESS OF ADDING ALL DC LOCATIONS TO ITS LIST. THE TEXT # AND LINK WILL BE UPDATE ON JUNE 25th. MEANWHILE, YOU CAN FIND A LIST OF DC PROVIDERS HERE: https://dpr.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dpr/service_content/attachments/Open%20Site%20List_2018.pdf

A special thanks to D.C Hunger Solutions for sourcing up to date statistics on the challenges and needs facing too many in our community. This organization works to create a hunger-free strategy to overcome barriers and build self-sustaining connections between city residents and nutritious food. You can learn more about this issue at dchunger.org.

[1] Please visit this http://datatools.dcactionforchildren.org/ for more information and datasets.

[2] The national avg. is 21% according the National Center for Children in Poverty. http://www.nccp.org/topics/childpoverty.html. The Federal Poverty Level is $25, 100 for a family of 4.

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July 2018 Community Newsletter

Click here for a PDF of  the July 2018 newsletter.

This month we highlight the DC FREE Summer Meals Program for kids & teens. Read about it here!

 

Upcoming Events

7th Annual Fireworks Show
Wednesday, July 4, 4PM: Just above the treetops, you can see the fireworks down on the National Mall from the Old Soldiers’ Home. Food, drinks, fun, and music are included, and kids can fish in the Soldiers Home pond! Enter at Rock Creek Church Rd & Randolph NW. Parking for $10 donation.

Local Author Book Launch Celebration
Friday, July 6th, 7PM-8:30PM: Join co-authors Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki for the release of “We Are The Clash: Reagan, Thatcher and the Last Stand of a Band That Mattered”!  at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave NW.

Park Road Community Church: Community Day
Saturday July 7, 12PM-4PM: Join your neighbors at Triangle Park at the corner of Sherman & Park Road for an afternoon of fun and games – including a moon bounce! This event is family-friendly so bring your kids and their friends! To volunteer, contact YavonneBoyd@gmail.com or (202) 309-8106.

Education Town Hall with Councilmember Grosso
Monday, July 9, 6-7:30PM: Councilmember David Grosso, chairperson of the Committee on Education, will hold a Ward 1 education town halls at Mt. Pleasant Library. Parents, students, educators, and any interested community members are invited to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns, about moving DC schools forward and ensuring that every student is in the best position to succeed. RSVP encouraged.

Georgia Avenue Thrive, monthly meeting
Monday, July 9, 7PM: Park View’s all-volunteer non-profit will meet at Sundevich (3212 Georgia Ave NW) to discuss efforts to make the community more connected, inclusive and vibrant. Come on out and learn how you can be more involved in your community!

ANC 1A: Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, July 11, 7-8:00PM: ANC 1A proudly serves the Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods in Ward 1. This meeting takes place the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Tubman Elementary School (3101 13th St NW).

Park Morton Soca Fest Block Party
Saturday, July 14th, 12PM-4PM: Come celebrate and get to know your neighbors at Park Morton (600 Morton St NW). There will be music, moon bounce, slip & slide, face painting, cotton candy, funnel cakes, and more. Bring your swimsuits/trunks for a splashing good time!

Meditation – Young Adult Sangha (YAS)
Saturday July 21, 2PM-4PM: Are you curious to learn about meditation with a group of young people? YAS includes a guided meditation at Lamont Dharma House (1719 Lamont Street NW), activities to deepen our practice, and the opportunity to build connections through unguided social time at the end with tea and snacks. FREE

 

Engagement Opportunities

Park View neighborhood cleanup!
Georgia Avenue Thrive will hold its next monthly cleanup Saturday, July 7 from 10-11:30am. We’ll meet at the corner of Georgia and Otis. Local business Reliable Tavern will be sponsoring and providing something special for volunteers over the age of 21. Come on out and see why the Mayor has praised our cleanups!

Happy 3rd Birthday to Georgia Avenue Thrive!
Georgia Avenue Thrive is a volunteer-led non-profit making our neighborhood more connected, inclusive and vibrant. We advocate for the neighbors, businesses and visitors of Lower Georgia Avenue. We formed in 2015 as the Georgia Avenue/Lamont Street Public Safety Task Force, due to increased crime. After helping the community address these concerns, we broadened our efforts.  We’re excited to work with you too! To volunteer, contact Matt.McFarland@gmail.com.

 

Community Announcements

Happy Graduation to Miss A’Tira High!
Congratulations to Miss A’Tira High for graduat from Dunbar High School with a 3.5 GPA. She will be attending Harrisburg University in the fall. Her proud mother is Shonta High, President of the Park Morton Residents Council.

Dance Scholarship for Kids from Low-Income Families
Salsa With Silvia Dance Studio is offering an opportunity for dance scholarships to kids ages 8-12 with training and costumes provided free of charge. Regular price is $50/month. Auditions will be held on September 9th. Email dance@salsawithsilvia.com for more info.

Family Literacy Book
Club
CentroNía is organizing a book club to families together from all Ward 1. There will be a book club for English and Spanish. Crafts and art sessions will be planned for children of all ages. For more information, contact Catherine Brenner 202-332-4200 Ext.1006, cbrenner@centronia.org.

El Club familiar del libro
El Club familiar del libro es una actividad de la comunidad para iniciar y compartir la lectura en grupo. Padres y niños leen juntos en la actividad. Todos los niños reciben un libro cuando se van al evento. Para obtener más información, comuníquese con Catherine Brenner 202-332-4200 Ext.1006 cbrenner@centronia.org.

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