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August 11, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

D.C. program helps ease access to fresh produce

The D.C. Department of Health and several farmers markets across the city have partnered for a new program called Produce Plus. The program gives low-income residents two $5 checks a week that can be used at the farmers markets and encourages the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables for those who may not otherwise have access or room in their budgets. (WaPo, 8/10)

City officials and farmers market organizers said that, so far, the program has been very popular.


But there are a few improvements to be made to the program, Shweder Biel of DC Greens said. For one, the checks end with the city’s fiscal year at the end of September, while the markets are still bustling. [Juliet] Glass (of FreshFarm Markets) said the mismatch has encouraged users to save some of their other benefits for holidays like Thanksgiving and use Produce Plus to add more fresh produce for the summer.

– With a number of families experiencing food insecurity and cuts in federal food assistance, the District has implemented new ways to fight hunger during the summer months when many need help the most. (WaPo, 8/7)

– Anacostia will soon be home to one of a chain of high-tech charter schools that is known for significantly boosting testing scores of low-income and minority students. (WaPo, 8/10)

– In Prince William County, there was a record number of high school students that registered for the county’s Virtual High School program. (WaPo, 8/10)

DISTRICTWashington, D.C. from murder capital to boomtown (BBC, 8/6)

Opinion: When it comes to health research, both private and public funding are imperative to solve problems, but could private gifts only satisfy personal interests? Read how one philanthropist’s gift served his own family along with many, many others. (WSJ, 8/10 – subscription may be required)

Related: WRAG members are invited to an upcoming brown bag discussion for funders interested in mental health or substance use disorders hosted by our Health Working Group on Tuesday, August 26th at 12 PM.  The brown bag will be a great opportunity to meet and network with colleagues interested in issues related to behavioral health and to share your own work in this area. We will also ascertain whether there is an interest in developing learning opportunities around specific behavioral health issues or programs at WRAG.

 Summer’s Philanthropy Quandary: To Do #GivingTuesday or Not? (Forbes, 8/9)

Sometimes even animals can’t resist taking a selfie. See what happens when a monkey and a toucan get in front of the camera.


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