$9 million invested in opening more food options in Wards 7 and 8


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Several food businesses are being awarded $9 million in grants to open new locations in Wards 7 and 8. The money is available through the Food Access Fund.

“We have an incredible amount of entrepreneurial talent and creativity in D.C., especially in our restaurant and foodservice industries – it’s just not equally distributed or equally funded. The Food Access Grants are going to change that,” said Mayor Bowser.

“With this $58 million fund, we can bring D.C. favorites like HalfSmoke that currently operate in some of our most popular corridors on the west side of the city, and support them in opening new locations in Wards 7 and 8. We can also support popular spots that are already in Wards 7 and 8, like MLK Deli, and make sure they have the resources necessary to expand and reach more Washingtonians. We already know that we have residents in every part of our city who are eager to support local businesses; the Food Access Grants are not only delivering more food options to Wards 7 and 8, they’re delivering new opportunities to stay local and shop local,” she said.

The Food Access Fund recipients span from restaurant businesses to grocery stores to markets. The city has designated eight businesses to receive funding to help the expansion into other parts of the city. These include DCity Smokehouse, Fresh Food Factory, HalfSmoke, Highland Cafe, MLK Deli, Roots 657 Cafe, Sala Thai and Sweet Tooth.

The next application round for the Food Access Fund is now open at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The goal is to attract businesses creating food access points whether it is a grocery store, restaurant, fast-casual restaurant, and the like in areas with low food access, with a focus on Wards 7 and 8. 

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