Growing the Politics of Local Food

November 3, 2009

Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

Category: General News

By Molly Davis, 2009 NFI Community Supported Gardening share-holder

D.C.’s local food movement is blooming. A crowd gathered at the Big Bear Cafe on the night of Saturday, Oct. 24 to listen to live music, drink a few beers, and talk about the issue of healthful food access in the District. The crowd included Neighborhood Farm Initiative growers, teachers, and volunteers, as well as Greg Bloom from Bread For the City, which offers food distribution and other services to low-income residents.

Greg talked about his group’s new project, a blog, that he hopes will serve as a hub for all things healthy, with a bent toward social justice and nutrition. Although the DC Food For All blog will focus on broad food access issues, Greg says that growing food locally is definitely one of the solutions to the challenges our city faces.

“I think that all these issues are fairly linked. I’d say for example efforts to localize food production goes hand in hand with efforts to provide access to food,” he said at the launch party at Big Bear.

The new blog is being launched by the same coalition of groups that built the DC Food finder, where District residents can search an interactive map of farmers’ markets, food banks, cooking classes and other sources.

“What? You mean access to fresh, reasonably priced food isn’t evenly distributed throughout the city?”

But the atmosphere at the launch party wasn’t all serious. The supporters spilled out onto the sidewalks when the rain subsided, enjoying the warm fall evening. And inside the cafe, local food supporters connected over clinking glasses and shared missions.

That’s exactly what Greg had been hoping for. He says that the coalition wanted to bring people together, using technology to create opportunities to talk to one another. “We looked at food as the first and easiest way to explore these opportunities,” he said.

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