The food justice tour is officially underway! Bread for the City was my first stop. It was the perfect kick-off as the organization incorporates all three of the areas I am looking at in my travels: production (BFC has a rooftop garden, gleans from local farms, and is organizing an urban orchard harvest for the future); distribution (the farmer's market that I participated in, food pantry and garden exchange programs where volunteers take home some of what they help to grow); and education (cooking classes, home gardening classes, demonstrations at food collections of how to use produce).
Wednesday was demo day (vegetable frittata) at the Bread for the City farmer's market in Shaw. It was a crystal clear, low humidity and barely 80s kind-of-day. So, in short, perfect. The market was incredibly well organized with representatives from all sorts of food outreach non-profits in attendance. Over 150 low-income families and clients in the Shaw neighborhood dropped by for food samples, face painting, and especially, all the fresh produce gleaned from nearby farms, farmer's markets and gardens. Check out more about the market and see a slideshow on BFC's blog. I found both the BFC staff and clients very friendly and really enjoyed myself. This is why my job never seems like work! Sunshine, good conversation, delicious fresh food - what more can a girl ask for? Well, in this case, I asked for a post-market tour of BFC's amazing and ingenious rooftop garden. This space is so well-utilized, and I was especially impressed by their willingness to use trial and error to find what worked. I'll be writing more in depth about this phenomenal non-profit after I visit their second location (to cook frittatas at a second market!) in Anacostia at the end of July.
|Bread for the City's Rooftop Garden|
On Saturday, I was back at the H St. FreshFarm Market doing my monthly demo using produce in a simple, straightforward way. Slowly but surely, FreshFarm is increasing the number of SNAP recipients using their federal dollars at farmer's markets. The Double Dollars program (where the market raises funds to match federal dollars up to a certain amount each week so participants can buy twice the amount of produce) is starting to gain word of mouth. It was great to see almost three times the amount of users at this week's market and even better to see them want to replicate the zucchini fritters I was demonstrating!
(Find the recipe for zucchini fritters here. )
This week, I'll be finalizing the schedule for my "big city" trips to Boston, Philly, Chicago/Detroit and NYC. Look for that later this week, and please shout out suggestions for non-profits, restaurants and lodging here or on our page on Facebook (Food Fighters if you haven't "liked" us yet). Better yet, contacts if you have them!
Finally, Food Fighters is now on Twitter. @FoodFightersUS is our handle. (Is that how you say it? I have no idea. I'm just hoping to maintain propriety at all costs. Technology baffles me, so keep your fingers crossed.) I'm hoping to make use of Twitter though, particularly in gaining recommendations for dining/lodging/other road logistics. Hopefully, I'll figure it out by trial and error over the summer.
|A DC sunset last week.|