A comprehensive, sustainable food security program for the Carver and Langston Communities of North East, Washington DC

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Southern New Hampshire University
As stated in the thesis project, "The Langston and Carver Communities are located in Ward 5. Carver/Langston Coalition, Inc. services the geographic area known as census tracks 89.3 and 89.4. Approximately ten thousand residents live in the two adjoining neighborhoods. They consist of multi unit apartments, town house style flats and single family residential housing. Historically, (CLC. Inc.) was founded to focus on strategies aimed at correcting some of the many similar problems faced by low income residents, (in particular, public assistance recipients), their families and communities. The mission of CLC, Inc. is to increase neighborhood education, socialization, and economic development through use of grant programs, contracts and innovative training methods. This strategy has been referred to as community-based, holistic, integrated and comprehensive. The major goals of CLC, Inc. are to move families towards self-sufficiency, their communities towards revitalization, and both towards community empowerment. Door to door surveys performed in 1995 by the Langston/Carver Community Building Project, a HUD funded empowerment program utilizing residents as interns of community development, revealed that an overwhelming majority of the residents in both public housing and low income rental properties viewed food and hunger as a major barrier towards achieving self sufficiency. In 1995 and 1996, the Carver/Langston Food Program, while distributing over two thousand pounds of free food weekly, observed that it only made a small dent in the total need and that regardless of how many truck loads of food were brought into the community to feed the needy, it was never enough. In 1997, with the help of grant funds obtained from non-profit philanthropic sources, the amount of food distributed was dramatically increased to 15 thousand pounds per month. Now, with larger distributions the impact is substantial, however, the need still far outweighs the available supply. As an ongoing priority to answer the needs of the community, CLC, Inc. seeks to establish a community wide initiative to reduce hunger, increase food nutrition, and provide savings on food supplies for many of it's residents. With the introduction of new welfare legislation in the District of Columbia, it is anticipated that many residents will face increasing food and nutrition related problems. When not addressed, these are real barriers that foster stress, perpetuate frustration, breed sickness and significantly hamper individual attempts to achieve self sufficiency. The residents of Carver Terrace and Langston Dwellings have expressed the need and desire for innovative food programs. During the goal setting process, while participating in a series of formal empowerment and capacity building workshops. And then, over the preceding years, many residents voted for and subsequently participated in what has now become the Carver/Langston Food Program. It is by far been CLC, Inc.'s most enthusiastically supported program and has the highest rate of participation and is the most asked for service from residents in both Carver and Langston." (Library-derived description)