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July 18, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

D.C. helps youth combat hunger during summer months

For many children in the region the summer months can be a time of uncertainty when it comes to receiving regular, nutritious meals – making summer meal programs all the more vital. With a number of summer feeding sites across the city at churches, libraries, schools and nonprofits, leaders are aiming to do more than just keep bellies full (PBS, 7/16):

As junk food consumption rises, children gain weight three times faster during the summer months, often putting on as many pounds during the three months of summer as they do during the entire school year, research shows. Skipping meals is common too.

“That’s why we see both hunger and obesity spiking at the same time,” said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center. “Hunger because the kids aren’t getting school meals, obesity because the kids aren’t getting the healthier food that they get from those meals.”

Summer food programs try to temper the weight gain by providing meals filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

– The Arlington Food Assistance Center has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of families and individuals it serves since 2013.  The increase is likely attributed to the November reduction in SNAP benefits and expiration of unemployment benefits. (ARLnow, 6/3)

– Recently The Washington Post shared a story of one D.C. mother’s ordeal to have her children smuggled across the U.S. border from Honduras.(WaPo, 7/17)

Related: As more and more undocumented children are making their way to the border, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees has released a resource guide for funders on how they can respond.

– A summer camp in D.C. is showing young girls how to become rock stars. The program not only teaches them about the District’s rich history in music, but it also teaches the young ladies a thing or two about about breaking down gender barriers. (City Paper, 7/17) This sounds like way more fun than the band camp I went to!

EDUCATION │ D.C. schools hire expert to help improve outcomes for African American boys (WaPo, 7/17)

– Mayor Gray has released his new plan to boost the District’s creative economy, “Creative Economy Strategy for the District of Columbia.” The plan outlines three specific areas for growth: make D.C. a national hub for creative start-ups and entrepreneurs, become a magnet for creative corporations, and create a resilient local entrepreneurial arts community. (DMPED, 7/16)

Brookland’s Monroe Street Market project is looking to attract tenants in a very unique and aesthetically pleasing way – by first moving in talented artists who have opened up their spaces to the wandering eyes of the public. (WaPo, 7/15)

– A coalition is concerned that an artist’s plans to sink a gas station replica in the Anacostia River to bring attention to global climate change will greatly interfere with river restorationon the assumption that the public will misinterpret the artist’s message. (CityLab, 7/17)

HOUSING │ In a soon-to-be redeveloped housing unit on U Street, residents who currently reside in section 8 units are requesting to be separated from the incoming young, market-rate professionals who have different needs. (WBJ, 7/17)

PHILANTHROPY │ Read the Council on Foundation‘s statement with regard to yesterday’s passing of the “America Gives More Act” (H.R. 4719) (COF, 7/17)

How many of these not-quite-as-popular monuments have you seen in D.C.?


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