The nonprofit DC UrbanGreens is cultivating urban gardens and mini-farms in areas that lack grocery stores. They aim to provide fresh produce to those who otherwise would be limited to cooking with canned vegetables. This is also a way for people, especially kids, to become more connected with nature and the food that they eat.

Learn more about this effort to mitigate food deserts:

Julie Kirkwood, a construction project manager, and Vincent Forte, a lawyer, started DC UrbanGreens three years ago, with a goal to help provide low-cost fresh produce to people living in an area without easy access to grocery stores.

They studied successful urban gardens in other states and learned about grant writing to fund theirs. They utilized neighborhood ambassadors like Parker and added two more sites. Now, they have three mini-farms in parts of southeastern D.C. labeled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as food deserts — places usually in low-income areas that lack fresh fruits and vegetables.

DC UrbanGreens sets up farmer’s markets at the Fort Dupont Ice Rink, in addition to other sites around the city including the Unity Health Clinic and the Riverside Healthy Living Center. WIC and SNAP food assistance grants are accepted as payment.

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