New Investments to Improve Food Security in the D.C. Metropolitan Area

Reliable access to quality, affordable food is a persistent problem for households and communities that have faced historic underinvestment, racist policies and structural inequities ─ a problem that has been greatly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and sharply rising food costs. The Bainum Family Foundation is excited to announce two new investments totaling $800,000 to address critical food security issues in and around the District of Columbia.

“For the past six years, we have supported a range of partners as together they create a healthier, more equitable and more ecologically sound food system in the D.C. region ― one that nourishes children, families and communities,” says David Daniels, the foundation’s CEO and President. “These new investments enable several of our partners, plus other food system stakeholders, to expand their reach and impact.”

The new funding includes:

  • $500,000 to DC Central Kitchen (DCCK). DCCK is in the process of relocating to a new headquarter space in the Buzzard Point neighborhood in Ward 6. The facility will be a best-in-class center for career training, job creation and healthy food distribution. The foundation’s funding will cover leasing costs for space utilized by Dreaming Out Loud, another foundation partner that will be co-locating with DCCK in the new space. Dreaming Out Loud creates economic opportunities for the region’s marginalized communities through building a healthy, equitable food system. Additionally, this funding supports an extension of DCCK’s regional food procurement efforts.

    “The forthcoming Michael R. Klein Center for Jobs and Justice embodies the principles we share with the Bainum Family Foundation,” says DC Central Kitchen CEO Michael Curtin, Jr. “This investment will dramatically expand our capacity to source and distribute local foods, provide workforce development and living wage job opportunities in the food sector, and deepen partnerships with fellow Bainum partners and food sector innovators. After three decades of using food as a tool to change lives in an outdated shelter basement, we are excited to add new levels of scale and intentionality in response to our community’s urgent needs for healthy food and economic opportunity.”
  • $300,000 to Capital Impact Partners for the Nourish DC collaborative. Capital Impact Partners builds inclusive and equitable communities by providing people access to the capital and opportunities they deserve. Capital Impact Partners was awarded funding from the District government to manage the Nourish DC collaborative to support the development of a robust ecosystem of locally owned food businesses, neighborhood vibrancy and health equity in D.C. communities, especially neighborhoods underserved by grocery stores and other food businesses. The foundation’s funding will support catalytic grants, technical assistance and flexible capital for food entrepreneurs, primarily in D.C.’s Wards 5, 7 and 8. Bainum Family Foundation is the first private funder of the collaborative.

    “Since the launch of Nourish DC in 2021, we have seen overwhelming demand for funding and technical assistance from food businesses, especially in Wards 5, 7 and 8, which are creating expanded access to food and quality jobs in their communities,” says Alison Powers, CIP’s Director, Economic Opportunities. “Support from the Bainum Family Foundation will increase the impact and capacity of Nourish DC, which has already provided more than $14.5 million in loans and $400,000 in grants to local food businesses.”

“We’re at an inflection point for building an equitable food system,” says Chris Bradshaw, Founder and Executive Director at Dreaming Out Loud. “These investments will help to empower incredible work to increase economic opportunity and improve community health and socio-economic outcomes. Perhaps, most important, these investments will allow partners to utilize the food system as an important vehicle for the holistic repair of communities.”

The Bainum Family Foundation’s Food Security Initiative began in 2017 and partners with for-profit and non-profit food system stakeholders to build an equitable, sustainable regional food system where all children, families and communities have sufficient healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate foods.