Cross City Collaboration to End Hunger - Capital Area Food Bank
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Cross City Collaboration to End Hunger

By Mark Thomas June 22, 2016

Ranell Davis, a resident of Edgewood Commons, became worried as she witnessed children coming to the resident office trying to get food. “Normally kids sit back and let mommy take care of stuff like that,” says Ranell.
Her concern was deeply rooted, backed by memories of her own experience with hunger as a child. “We did not have anything, we would have to go a day or two before the food stamps would kick in, ‘til mommy got money, ‘til she went out to a food pantry or tried to get some food from a church,” explained Ranell.

Driven to spare other children from the same suffering, Ranell began buying food to donate to the office. Soon after, other community members joined Ranell in donating food.
Even with more donations being made, the presence of hunger became increasingly visible as adult community members started to access the donated food. Ranell realized it was time to take her work against hunger to the next level by starting a food pantry.
She started by calling area grocery stores seeking food donations, until one store referred her to the Capital Area Food Bank. Much to her surprise, when she called CAFB she learned that Community Preservation and Development Corporation (which operates Edgewood Commons) had an existing partnership with the food bank, which started in 2004 thanks to food bank partner Cora Clark and her commitment to ensuring residents in her SE DC community had access to nutritious foods.
Fueled with passion, Ranell made a cross city bus trip to meet Cora and learn how to establish a successful food pantry in partnership with CAFB. After a day of learning, she left with the knowledge she needed to start a pantry in her own community.
In October 2015, Edgewood Commons had its first community food distribution and on the third Thursday of that first month over 250 residents lined up to receive food.
Other food assistance programs now available to Edgewood Commons residents include the CAFB’s Brown Bag and Grocery Plus programs, which provide nutritious groceries for seniors, as well as an emergency food supply that is always available to residents to ensure none will go hungry.
Today, when members of Ranell’s community visit the resident office in need of food, they are referred to her pantry. From Arbor View to Edgewood Commons, members of the CPDC community, alongside the Capital Area Food Bank have joined the movement to solve hunger!
Get inspired like Ranell! Learn more about how food bank partner Cora Clark is bringing nutritious food to her neighbors in SE DC who are struggling with hunger, boosting her community’s health in the process – Nurturing Her Community through Access to Nutritious Food!