Food Day Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, October 21, 2011

Contacts: Wendy Stuart, D.C. Food Day Coordinator, 202-499-9414
Lilia Smelkova, Food Day Campaign Manager, 202-777-8322

D.C. events put a spotlight on food access, local products

Celebrate food on October 24 by learning, eating, and getting involved

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After months of preparation, Food Day is being celebrated in Washington, D.C., on Monday, October 24. Food Day, a national grassroots campaign sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, will bring people together from across the country on and around Monday, October 24 to participate in activities and events that encourage Americans to “eat real” and support healthy, affordable food grown in a sustainable, humane way. Modeled on Earth Day, organizers hope Food Day will inspire Americans to hold thousands of events in schools, college campuses, houses of worship, and even in private homes aimed at fixing America’s food system.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has proclaimed October 24 to be Food Day for the city, and events across the region will highlight sustainability, local products, and food access issues. Over the weekend of October 22, various farmers’ markets including the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace will hold cooking demonstrations and tastings, and D.C. Hunger Solutions will be registering new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. A Well-Fed World will host an educational event with a human-animal art display, speakers, exhibits, and free food. Neighborhood Restaurant Initiative will host Homebrew Harvest, a friendly competition among local brewers, on Sunday.

On Monday, October 24, fun and educational events will take place across the city, with an open house at the National Archives “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” exhibit from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; a Food Truck Festival at Franklin Square at 11:30 a.m.; a “flash-mob” picnic showcasing local produce that will start at 11:30 a.m. near Farragut Square (final details to be announced that morning via social media); and a film screening, bike-blender smoothie sale and other events at GWU and American University. Prince George’s Community College is collaborating with the Westphalia Training Center, and will offer demonstrations on starting a community garden and planting a home garden. Busboys and Poets will be screening a locally-produced food film, “A Community of Gardeners” at their U Street location at 6:30 p.m.

Also on Monday, Bread for the City’s NW location will collaborate with D.C. Central Kitchen, D.C. Hunger Solutions, and ROC D.C. to host a large event with cooking demonstrations, screenings, and WIC/SNAP outreach. Meridian Pint will offer a special menu using products from Columbia Heights Community Marketplace. In collaboration with Bethesda Cares, a church in Bethesda will be screening the film “Ingredients” at 7 pm and serving food from Chef Tony’s restaurant. And the Italian Embassy will host a lecture on the history of Italian Cuisine and a reception in partnership with Tosca restaurant.

FRESHFARM Markets celebrates a food week with double matching dollars up to $20 for all WIC/Senior/Food Stamp shoppers from October 24 till October 30. Markets participating are: by the White House, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, HHS, H St. NE, and Silver Spring, MD.

“I saw D.C. as a role model in the good food movement, and wanted the city to have a very active presence for the inaugural campaign,” says Wendy Stuart, coordinator for D.C. Food Day activities, “A great thing about the food movement is that it is grassroots and collaborative, and innovative initiatives are gaining strength. Food Day gives a platform for everyone working to do things in a healthier, more sustainable way.”

Restaurants, farms, and businesses in the D.C. area will be participating over the weekend as well. Whole Foods Market, Sweetgreen, Meridian Pint, Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s restaurants in D.C. and northern Virginia, and notable chefs will be honoring Food Day by serving fresh, local food. Participating restaurants, shops and markets include Nora’s, Founding Farmers, Palena, Teaism, Big Bear Cafe, Paolo’s Ristorante, Neyla’s, Posto, Georgia Brown’s, Seasonal Pantry, Cowgirl Creamery, and NoMa Farmers’ Market. Orchard County Produce and Fruit Farm, also a local CSA provider, has donated produce for a Food Day event.

Events will carry on throughout the week, with a film screening and discussion at Bloombars on the 25th, a benefit concert at DC9 for Common Good City Farm on Thursday, the 27th, and live cooking demonstrations at Aya Markets on October 29th.

“Food Day is a great opportunity to encourage Americans to change their diets for the better,” said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “But even more important, Food Day will mobilize eaters of all stripes to push for positive changes in food and farm policy.”

For more information, visit http://www.foodday.org or click here to see the list on D.C. Food Day blog.

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