Making the Most of Food and Fall

October 2020


Happy DC Food Recovery Week! In the midst of the fall harvest, it’s a wonderful time to take stock of the bounty in our region – and of what’s in your fridge! Did you know that the average household throws away 40% of all food purchased!? For every $100 spent on groceries, that’s like throwing away two $20s! A cohort of Ward 7 & 8 residents worked with Sustainable DC and Recycle Leaders over the summer, and some participants reduced their monthly food budgets by almost 50% by cutting down on waste through meal planning, sizing cooking just right for their families, fridge cleanout, and better use of leftovers! You can find great recipes, storage tips and more to make the most of food here, or visit Eat or Toss to help you decide what food is actually okay to eat, even if it looks funny, and what should be tossed into the compost.

Speaking of compost, as you set up your Halloween pumpkins, don’t forget that you can drop them off post-festivities at any of the food waste drop-off sites at farmers’ markets in each Ward. The Office of Waste Diversion at the Department of Public Works (DPW) is also offering free home composting workshops on October 14, October 28, and November 7. After you complete one of these sessions, you’ll be eligible for up to $75 rebate on the purchase of your own home composting system!

As we make the most of our food, let’s also make the most of this beautiful weather: have you seen the fall leaves reflected in the Anacostia? Seize this weather to bike the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail or go for a walk on Kingman Island! Wherever you are, as you enjoy our outdoor spaces this Fall, take a moment in honor of Indigenous People’s Day to reflect on the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of our land. Here in DC, we stand on the land of the Piscataway and Nacotchtank (Anacostan) peoples. If you’re in another part of the world, find out more about the peoples whose land you stand on.


oct 7

If you missed the awards ceremony last week, you can still watch the awards ceremony, complete with incredible keynote remarks by Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Founder and Executive Director of the Hip Hop Caucus, about the intersections of climate justice and racial justice, and how the 2020 Awards winners are moving us towards both. There’s so much to celebrate – each of the seven District Sustainability Award winners are doing great work towards our Sustainable DC 2.0 goals.

whiteoct 2


It’s not too late to get counted in the DC 2020 Census! It is important for every District resident to participate in the 2020 US Census—this includes people of all ages and races, as well as citizens and non-citizens. These numbers influence our federal funding for education, food access, transportation, and so much more! DC residents have three ways to respond to the census: online, by phone, or by mail. Learn more about why it matters in DC and complete the census here.

oct 3


Manna Food Center’s Community Food Rescue (CFR) and the DC Food Recovery Working Group (DCFRWG) are combining forces this year to co-host DMV Food Recovery Week. The global pandemic has revealed how much we need a more resilient food system – one that sustains the earth and provides sufficient, nutritious food for all who need it. The week’s engaging and enlightening free (and mostly virtual) events aim to help individuals and our community become more resilient. Join us to learn easy things you can do at home – and ways to support community efforts – to reduce food waste and increase food security for all. Check out the following #DMVFoodRecoveryWeek events (and the recordings of past events): more info and registration can be found here. All events except the farm tour are virtual. 

  • 10/15 @ 6:30 pm- Eat Or Toss? Using Science to Decode Kitchen Food Waste Dilemmas
  • 10/16 @ 12 pm- DPR Community Compost Cooperative Training
  • 10/16 @ 7:30 pm- Nose to Tail and Leaf to Root: A Cooking Class with Chef Mike Rehm
  • 10/17 @ 1 pm - Red Wiggler Community Farm Tour
oct 4


Are you Ready2Play? Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is bringing back limited programming, including six aquatic centers, twenty-nine recreation centers, plus fitness classes and teen programming. Reservations have opened, with programs starting this week. Browse and register fall programming here. DPR looks forward to safely welcoming you back inside DC’s facilities and increasing access to these health and wellness opportunities.

As you get ready to make the most of DPR’s offerings, it’s also time to let DPR know where you would like to see park improvements, new parks, or additional facilities and to share your big ideas for the future of parks and recreation! Leave your feedback and get involved in DPR’s 20-year master planning process at



Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), Green Fellows

DOEE’s Green Fellows Program is a leadership development program in the fields of energy and environment. This Fellowship is a competitive, paid opportunity for graduate students attending local-area higher education institutions or DC residents enrolled in local-area graduate programs in the Washington Metropolitan area. This year, positions are available in Health Equity, Energy Affordability & Efficiency, Energy Data & Benchmarking and in Sustainability, Equity, Climate & Buildings with the Urban Sustainability Administration (including writing this newsletter!).

For more information and to apply, please visit

League of Conservation Voters, Communications Associate

LCV believes our Earth is worth fighting for because everyone has a right to clean air, water, and a safe, healthy community. To ensure those rights are protected, we help people use their power to shape policy, hold politicians and polluters accountable, and influence elections. LCV is hiring a Communications Associate to serve as a key member of the Communications team, which focuses on external communications and media relations. While this position is based in DC, all LCV staff are currently working remotely. Learn more and apply here.

DC Greens, The Well at Ox Run Director The Well at Oxon Run is a planned farm and community wellness space. The Well Director will be responsible for the strategic direction of The Well. This role will also be responsible to build and maintain productive partnerships with the community and relevant stakeholders, and will oversee the creation and growth of The Well as a community asset. Read more about The Well here and find the job details here.


Ward 8 Woods

First & second Saturday each month
Ward 8

Looking for an excuse to get outside, stay COVID safe, and support a District Sustainability Award winner? Ward 8 Woods engages residents and visitors to work in the woods removing trash and cutting invasive vines. If you like to be physically active, spend time in nature, and immediately see the results of your work, join one of Ward 8 Woods’ Volunteer Days. For more information or to schedule an additional work day, please email Nathan Harrington at

The Green Scheme

Ongoing Opportunities
Ward 7 & 8, plus Virtual

Were you inspired at the District Sustainability Awards hearing about the ways The Green Scheme empowers young people to live healthy and sustainable lives? You can support their work by volunteering with them, too. Click here to register as a volunteer with The Green Scheme, or contact them directly at

City Blossoms

Tuesday – Friday, weekly
Various City Blossoms gardens

Did you know that City Blossoms was a 2019 District Sustainability Award winner? You can read more about their work here, or get involved joining them for a physically distant work day in one of their various gardens throughout the city. Visit their Open Time calendar here and email to register or for more information.



Saturday, October 24, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Virtual 

On October 24, join Difficult Dialogues and tve, in partnership with Eco.Logic, for debate and discussion on the role of democracy in climate action! Any college student is invited to register to participate in the debate and all are invited to the debate event, which will be followed by a panel discussion of experts in politics and in environmental law and policy. The winners of this U.S. round will advance to the international finals alongside students from Nepal, India, Africa, the UK, and beyond.

Register here to debate or to watch the debates!

  oct 5
oct 6  


Wednesdays, Oct 14 – Dec 30, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Virtual 

The Department of Small & Local Business Development is excited to present this weekly lunch & learn series for DC businesses. Tune in each week for a business brief on topics related to business development, business financing, management concepts, marketing and sales, and of course contracting and procurement. Several of DSLBD's knowledgeable staff will present throughout the series, and recordings and presentation materials will be made available to registrants after each event.

Register and learn more here.


Friday, November 6 and Friday, December 4, 10:00 am – 11:00 am, Online

The ongoing police and racism-fueled violence in the U.S., including the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others, has painfully underscored the need for proactive anti-racist work and centering racial equity in all policies, including food policy. The DC Food Policy Council, in its role as a convener, invites those who are engaged in the DC food system (as a professional, student, or resident) to reflect, learn, and hold ourselves accountable. Prior sessions have covered the history of DC’s grocery gap, the racial wealth gap and land access, and how racism and white supremacy influence nutrition education. Remaining sessions will explore the food workforce. Learn more, watch previous sessions, and register for the two remaining sessions here.

  oct 7
what we're reading

Honor Native Land: a Guide and Call to Acknowledgment

We Have A Story to Tell: Native Peoples of the Chesapeake Region

A Reparations Map for Farmers of Color May Help Right Historical Wrongs

Food Access & Food Security in the District of Columbia: Responding to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Not Enough To Eat: COVID-19 Deepens America’s Hunger Crisis




  facebook twitter   facebook twitter instagram