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Food activists win awards

(Published November 29, 1999)

Efforts to ensure access to healthful, affordable food for Southeast Washington residents who lack a nearby supermarket were recognized recently by Community Harvest, a community-based organization focused on a similar mission for all D.C. neighborhoods.

The group named Ward 8 activist Eugene Dewitt Kinlow as its "Good Food Advocate of the Year" for working "tirelessly to bring 'good food' back into his community" by organizing protests against the continuing absence of a supermarket, helping to organize a "Good Food for All Earth Day Festival" and actively participating in the Food Access is Right Coalition and Community Harvest.

The award for "Outstanding Community Food Project" was shared by organizers of new farmers markets in Anacostia and Congress Heights, which both opened during the past year in response to the closing of Safeway's Ward 8 store at Milwaukee Place and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE in October 1998.

The Anacostia Farmers Market, organized by Matt Hora of the Capital Area Food Bank's From the Ground Up Farm Project and hosted by Union Temple Baptist Church, is linked to a federal program that permits needy families participating in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program to buy groceries there with their vouchers.

The Congress Heights Farmers Market opened Oct. 9 in the old Congress Heights school through the efforts of co-facilitators John Gloster of the D.C. Statehood Green Party and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Virginia Major, who brought together a coalition of several Ward 8 groups with Community Harvest to create the market.

Other groups involved with the market, in addition to the Statehood Green Party and Community Harvest, are the Congress Heights Civic Association, East of the River Community Development Corp. and all five ANCs in Ward 8.

Natalie Dobie of Ground-swell Farm was recognized as "Farmer of the Year" for being the first farmer to sign up to participate in the Anacostia Farmers Market and for attending the market every week until its seasonal closing Oct. 30.

The awards were presented Nov. 20 during a ceremony at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, 2437 15th St. NW.d

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator