The ability to obtain enough food for an active, healthy life is one of the most basic of human needs. Without access to adequate, healthy food, people are likely to be hungry, undernourished, and in poor health, with high rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other nutrition-related health problems.

Even when families can scrape together enough, a balanced and healthy diet is often beyond their reach. Sometimes the outcome is obesity, an ironic byproduct of having too few resources to purchase healthy food. The result is a health crisis in the midst of the District’s high rates of poverty and hunger.

Hunger and obesity result from low wages, a lack of information, and inadequate participation in nutrition and other assistance programs. Without proper nutrition or enough food, children do not develop to their full potential and adults are not as productive as they could be. The cost to government and society is far greater than what it would take to ensure three healthy meals a day.