What is Roots for Life?
We are a non-profit grassroots social movement founded in 2017 by two mission-driven social entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C. Our collective is run by skilled volunteers and community partners dedicated to eradicating food deserts and food insecurity.
We believe access to fresh, healthy food is a fundamental right, and key to living a healthy and productive life. Our goal is to increase equitable access to nutrition and good health for all D.C residents, regardless of zip code and income level.
Who do we serve?
Roots for Life focuses on stamping out food deserts in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8, where food insecurity prevails.
What is food insecurity?
The USDA defines food insecurity as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” In Washington D.C, 11.2% of households live in food-insecure areas, also called food deserts.
In these areas, grocery stores are few and far between, and transportation may be costly or limited. Roots for Life targets communities and families to better connect them to nutritional knowledge and programming that empowers a healthy lifestyle.
How do we empower residents?
We connect individuals living in food insecure areas to locally grown fruits and vegetables. Our work involves building partnerships with local farmers, farmers markets, and community stakeholders.
We create year-round programming so that residents can partake in cooking demonstrations, learn about making healthy choices, and grow food through fun hands-on activities.
We empower communities through educational resources (check out our blog), as well as one-time workshops that guide residents in understanding daily nutritional needs and practices.
Why we do what we do?
Residents living in food deserts have little access to personal transportation. Yet the nearest grocery store with fresh produce is at least half a mile walking distance. Residents must then rely on corner stores that often don’t stock fresh foods. When it’s tough to get to a supermarket, fruits and vegetables become a rare luxury, negatively affecting health outcomes in diet-related illness and life expectancy. Roots for Life’s overall vision is to inspire communities to make a change.
What kinds of programs do we offer?
Crops in the Kitchen
This year-round program will provide nutritious foods to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, as well as to infants & children up to 5 years of age who are found to be at nutritional risk. Participants or families can attend a Saturday cooking demonstration and receive up to 25 pounds of fresh produce delivered straight from a farm. Local chefs, nutritionists, and class leaders will show you how to cook your new harvest. You will also leave with recipe cards and spices to make delicious meals at home.
Learn to grow things in counter-top containers you can keep at home. This class will focus on sun, soil, fertilizer, drainage, containers, and seeds or seedlings. We’ll concentrate on the top10 vegetables to plant: peas, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, eggplants, and zucchini squash. We’ll also focus on easy to grow herbs such as basil, chives, marjoram, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Beyond growing and distributing healthy food, Roots for Life aims to be a hub of learning to build healthy communities. Our one-time classes for residents will be offered throughout Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8.
Come and learn from some of the following workshops offered:
Reducing Food Waste
Home Food Preservation and Canning
Safe Handling for Fresh produce
What is Root's for Life's federal tax ID number? Federal Tax ID number (also known as an EIN, Employer Identification Number)
82-1909368. Roots for Life is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
Are donations made to Roots for Life tax-deductible?
Yes, monetary donations to Roots for Life are tax-deductible.
What impact is my donation making?
Your donation will immediately go to work in Washington D.C. Donations provide support for on-the-ground programming. This programming delivers community access to fresh produce and culinary education.
Donations also help us with our outreach efforts, so we make sure we’re reaching the right people. We seek to create and curate a hub of print and online resources that connect communities to key nutritional information.
Donations assist with materials, printing costs, and other associated fees that allow us to reach residents in our target Wards and connect them to appropriate food-access channels.
What is the average donation?
Typical donations range from ___ to ___. But every dollar helps us get closer to achieving our mission – no gift is too small to make an impact.
Where can I donate?
Help us expand our resources to combat food insecurity in Washington D.C. by donating here.
How else can I get involved?
Follow our Facebook for specific program event locations and times.
For volunteer and partnership opportunities, check out our Take Action page
Join our mailing list for upcoming news
We hope to see you at our events!
Additional Links and Resources