Seedlings sprouting in pots

Our Story

Building a Better Food System

When people talk about food access in D.C., they often use the term “food desert” to describe areas in our city where it’s difficult to find affordable and quality fresh food. But this term falls short. A desert is a beautiful, natural occurrence.  

Cities are not natural. Cities are planned.

Food apartheid, a term first coined by activist Karen Washington, calls attention to decades of discrimination and harmful policy decisions that make accessing fresh food difficult or nearly impossible. It points us to the inequities in our food system that target neighborhoods and communities based on race, class, or location. 

At DC Greens, we believe access to nutritious food is a human right. We also believe all the things embedded in food — like community, culture, memory, self-sufficiency, and joy — are human rights, too. 

Through thought-partnership, creativity, and collaboration, we work alongside D.C. residents, community advocates, nonprofit organizations, and the local government to amplify community power and create a stronger, more resilient food system in our city. 

Three young girls hold fresh produce and smile at the camera

Our Approach

We are not the bridge. We are bridge builders.

Our organization is committed to making lasting change. We do not aim to be the bridge. We aim to build the bridge. That way, change can be sustained long after our work is done. We do this by piloting and incubating innovative programs that have the potential to radically improve access to quality, nutritious food in the District. As the programs grow and become self-sufficient, we graduate them to independence, where they become a permanent part of the D.C. food system. 

By leaning on our core values — collaboration, creativity, equity, integrity, and sustainability — we aim to undo the harmful effects of food apartheid in the nation’s capital. 

Our vision is a capital city in which health equity is a central value, healthy food is a human right, and all residents have the resources to shape and control policies and programs for their own communities.

Our Mission

advancing health equity by building a just and resilient food system

Help us build a just and resilient food system in D.C.

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We love it when the community wants to invest in us. At DC Greens, many hands make light work. If you’re interested in using your hands, your talents, and your skills to invest in our organization, sign up to volunteer. Currently, most volunteer positions are based at our community farm and wellness space, The Well at Oxon Run. Volunteers of all abilities and ages are welcome.