Bowser Announces Food Access Fund Grants

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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) speaks during Monday's press conference on new funding for the Food Access Fund (FAF). Screenshot: Facebook Live.

In the kickoff to the District’s Black Restaurant Week, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and Ward 8 Council member Trayon White Sr. (D) announced the allocation of $7 million to local restaurants through third round of the District’s Food Access Fund (FAF).

This fund, which has grown to over $70 million, aims to help bring food businesses, resources and options to communities in the east side of the river.

This cycle’s award recipients include: Go-Go Museum & Café, SaPoDilla’s Caribbean Restaurant, Dreaming Out Loud, Inc., Darnell’s at the Museum, Café Poulet, Market 7 and Mélange. Additionally, Little Ivy City Tavern, Sweet Tooth Restaurant and Las Placitas will receive additional funds.

The Food Access Fund is a fantastic example of how the government can work with local entrepreneurs to bring much-needed resources and amenities to the community,” Bowser said. “One way to celebrate DMV Black Restaurant Week is to go out and support Black-owned businesses in DC.”

White expressed appreciation to Bowser for the investment in Wards 7 and 8 and said that while many of the District’s small businesses, including restaurants, have faced adversity throughout the pandemic, the investments made now in these food businesses will help address struggles facing the community today.

“We know that food insecurity and economic and social conditions facing East of the river have been historic for years,” White said. “We have gone beyond talking about equality to talking about equity and putting our money where our mouth is.”

Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio emphasized that these funds will not only increase the number of local restaurants, but will also help support employment and entrepreneurship in the District.

“Through Mayor Bowser’s investments, local entrepreneurs are creating food access points in Wards 7 and 8, and restaurant owners are bringing more food options that already exist West of the River to East of the River,” Falchicchio said. “But it’s not just about food. It’s also about creating jobs in Wards 7 and 8 and promoting entrepreneurship for residents, especially Black residents. DMV Black Restaurant Week is an important time to support Black restaurant owners and entrepreneurs.”

The Food Access Fund will reopen for additional grant applications on December 12. Businesses can learn more about the program and eligibility here.

Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.