Meal Distribution During the DC Shutdown

We initiated our Serve-A-Meal Program as a response to the growing food insecurity issues resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Food security measures the availability of food and individuals’ access to it; likewise, food insecurity is the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of the lack of money, resources, or in this case due to the global pandemic. Through our initiative, we successful collaborated with many other local organizations that work to improve food security throughout the Washington DC Metropolitan area. One of our partners, the BDesh Foundation, is a non-profit organization that has worked with CommunityForward on our Serve-A-Meal Program, working with us to distribute meals across the Greater Washington D.C. Metropolitan area.

Nearly each Saturday this year, BDesh Foundation and CommunityForward pick up meals from a small local restaurant (Mario’s, in Arlington, Virginia), to distribute across various Washington D.C. locations. However, in January 2021, DC experienced a shut down, with parts of the district heavily guarded due to the U.S. Capital Attack.

Due to this increased protection of DC, it became more difficult to travel in and out of the District. CommunityForward, BDesh Foundation, and Mario’s (vendor), made a commitment and was determined to serve meals to the underserved and to veterans in Washington D.C. Each partner expressed and showed true dedication to this program. Even with the metro (rail system) not running, the owner of Mario, his brother, and two other employees prepared the meals we needed, for CommunityForward and BDesh Foundation to distribute enroute to deliver the meals to the CCNV Homeless Shelter, the BDesh Foundation encountered roadblocks and resistance from the U.S. Army, stationed to protect the U.S. Capitol.

One individual alone can help to make a difference in a community, but we know that it takes partnership, collaboration, and dedication to achieve our mission for food security. With the literal roadblock on their path, the BDesh volunteers were prepared to carry 175 meals, in the cold DC Winter day, to the Homeless Shelter. The stationed guard worked with his team, inspected the BDesh vehicle, and allowed passage to the volunteers to access the CCNV Homeless Shelter.

We thank our partners in CommunityForward, and diverse partners in this particular moment, to join together to serve, elevate, and generate change.

To learn more about our meal distribution and future events, click here.