Tag: hunger

Middle-income seniors may be unable to afford housing and care in the future

–  According to a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs, the number of middle-income seniors is projected to soar in the next 10 years, and many of them will be unable to afford housing and care. In metropolitan areas such as DC, where the cost of living is higher than the national average, the problem is especially acute. (WaPo, 5/28)

Seniors who have too much income to qualify for government-subsidized housing and don’t make enough to live in a luxury development will be left behind … and for those without homes to sell or borrow against, the outlook is bleak: In 2029, 81 percent of middle-income seniors without equity in housing will have an annual income that is below the projected annual $62,000 for assisted living rent and estimated out of pocket medical spending, the study found … “Even if we assume that seniors devote 100 percent of their annual income to seniors housing — setting aside any personal expenses — only 19 percent of middle-income seniors will have financial resources that exceed today’s costs of assisted living,” the study said.

Opinion: The 2020 DC Council budget may cut the Affordable Housing Preservation Tool, which provides an opportunity for residents to stay in their homes with affordable rents. Eliminating funding for the AHPF in 2020 means, at minimum, a $60 million cut in funds to preserve affordable housing. (GGWash, 5/24)

EDUCATION | Five new charter schools are planned for the District for the 2020-2021 academic year but there are concerns that city resources will be affected and their opening may result in more empty seats at existing middle and high schools that are struggling to attract students. (WaPo, 5/26)

ENVIRONMENT | Can the DC area clean up its waste problem? (WTOP, 5/27)

POVERTY/HUNGER | It’s World Hunger Day. Here’s why so many people still suffer from malnutrition. (WaPo, 5/28)

DISTRICT | Long-standing tax breaks for tech companies in the District could be cut and the revenue used instead to fund social services. (WAMU, 5/27)

LGBTQIA | Transgender Military Members Say Ban Is ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 2.0’ (WAMU, 5/28)

GUN VIOLENCE | Giving Up Guns: High-Risk Veterans Are Ready To Talk About It (WAMU, 5/24)

PHILANTHROPY | One Foundation CEO’s Plan to Respond to Today’s Outrages. What’s Yours? (Chronicle, 5/22)

Hunting for mushrooms with the Mycological Association of Washington.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

Changes to mental health services in DC’s public schools causes concern

– Changes to the mental health services in the District’s public schools have teachers and parents worried about disruptions to existing relationships between mental health clinicians and students. The DC Department of Behavioral Health, which is responsible for the services, has not yet released an official plan but previous statements from agency officials indicate significant changes. (DCist, 4/28)

The controversy over proposed changes to mental health services in D.C. schools initially surfaced at a DBH oversight hearing in February. Teachers and school administrators expressed concerns over rumors that the agency planned to pull full-time clinicians from their designated schools and have them serve in an itinerant role between multiple schools.

“This change will put up even greater barriers for our students to receive the care and support services they desperately need,” said Stephanie Beer, a teacher at the International Academy at Cardozo. She added that the stakes for at-risk students who do not receive mental health services are significant, citing higher rates of missed classes and suspension.

– Transitioning military members in Northern Virginia are getting the chance to learn to code in a Northern Virginia Community College boot camp course. (Potomac Local, 4/30)

WRAG COMMUNITY | Rose Ann Cleveland, executive director of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, has announced her plans to retire from the foundation in October 2017. (Cafritz Foundation, 4/28)

HUNGER | The Hunger Resource Center in Manassas, VA is helping a father teach his children about true charity. (WaPo, 4/27)

INCOME INEQUALITY | Most of the United States agrees that economic inequality exists but are we letting our own biases get in the way when we try to address it? (NYT, 4/28)

GENTRIFICATION | Derek Hyra, American University’s School of Public Affairs professor, discusses his new book, Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City, about the gentrification of DC’s U street neighborhood. (WCP, 4/28)

Related: WRAG was honored to have Derek Hyra as our business meeting speaker at last year’s annual meeting.

BUDGET | D.C. Council is urged to consider delaying landmark tax cuts (WaPo, 4/27)

ENVIRONMENT | Marchers came to DC on Saturday to protest the new administration’s climate policies. (NPR, 4/29)

Three simple steps you can take to improve your life, according to TED conference speakers.

– Kendra

Weathering the winter months on a low income

POVERTY/HOUSING | For many lower-income residents in the region, the colder winter months are a struggle to navigate as poor-quality, deteriorating housing can be the only affordable option and paying utilities often comes after taking care of other basic needs. (WaPo, 1/23)

Living in poverty means constantly balancing competing necessities. Every month, rent is due. Then there are food costs and transportation expenses. The last item on that list is usually paying utilit[y] bills […].

10 Cities Where the Middle Class Can’t Afford Rent Anymore (Cheatsheet, 12/2015)

DISTRICT | The highly-anticipated 11th Street Bridge Park is closer to becoming a reality. Residents and those involved with the project hope that once it is completed, the surrounding area will be an inclusive, equitable place to live and work. (Bridge Park, 1/22)

FOOD/PHILANTHROPY | The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a $130 million initiative to tackle hunger by cutting global food waste. The plan ranges from reducing food waste from discarded crops to reducing food waste in people’s homes. (NYT, 1/22)

RACIAL EQUITY/GENDER EQUITY | A new report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development finds that, despite a narrowing racial gap in business ownership between 2007 and 2012, white-owned businesses continued to be much more successful than those of their counterparts. The study also found that there is nowhere in America where women-owned businesses outperform male-owned businesses. (WSJ, 1/25)

No one enjoyed the snow more than the animals at the National Zoo.

– Ciara


Resources run low for seniors in need

In D.C., individuals over the age of 60 make up a growing number of the population. As a large portion of those seniors experience hunger, resources are not currently available to meet demands (WAMU, 7/3):

About 16 percent of the District’s population is over 60. That’s about 107,000 people. Roughly half of them access some type of social service through the District’s Office on Aging [DCOA]. But a much-needed program to feed some of our most vulnerable neighbors may have run out of money.


DCOA says that new enrollments for the delivery program are on temporary hold, but an additional $200,000 has been secured for next fiscal year. The agency says eligible seniors can access other food sources such as free vouchers for grocery stores and farmer’s markets as well free lunches at 52 centers.

The Catch-22 is that many of the seniors who are eligible for home meal delivery can’t access those other options, which is precisely why they qualify for home meal delivery.

COMMUNITY | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia welcomes their new board chair, Paul Leslie, CEO of Dovel Technologies. Leslie replaces WRAG Vice Chair and Deputy Executive Director of Giving at the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, K. Lynn Tadlock.

HEALTH | Opinion: Paying People to Be Healthy Usually Works, if the Public Can Stomach It (NYT, 7/6)

EDUCATION/YOUTH | Experts point to extraordinarily high rates of transient students as one factor that makes schooling more difficult for youth enrolled in DCPS. (WaPo, 7/4)

PHILANTHROPY | As Greece struggles with a financial crisis, there are some lessons philanthropy can learn from the ongoing situation. (Spear’s, 7/1)

How do you usually spend your time?

– Ciara

As tuition increases, so does hunger on campus

HUNGER | As the price of college (and related costs, like housing) rise, more students are having trouble affording food, particularly those who are from low-income families or are first-generation college students. Many colleges are starting food banks to serve students otherwise going hungry (WaPo, 4/10):

At the same time that higher education is seen as key to financial security, tuition and living expenses are rising astronomically, making it all the more tempting for students to cut corners on food.

“Between paying rent, paying utilities and then trying to buy food, that’s where we see the most insecurity because that’s the most flexible,” said Monica Gray, director of programs at the College Success Foundation-District of Columbia, which helps low-income high school students go to college.

As campuses look for solutions, the number of university food pantries has shot up, from four in 2008 to 121 today, according to the Michigan State University Student Food Bank, which has advised other campuses on starting them. Trinity Washington University in the District opened one in September, and the University of Maryland at College Park is looking into opening one.

– D.C. wants to buy a lot of land next to the Anacostia metro station to develop it for affordable housing. (WBJ, 4/9)

– Here’s a great write-up of a recent successful effort to purchase an apartment building in Columbia Heights under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act – the program that helps tenants purchase their properties when landlords put them up for sale. (WAMU, 3/28)

Post columnist Petula Dvorak writes about the need for a safe playspace for children at D.C. General and calls on the city to get moving on building it – especially since there is already community approval and funding available for it (including financial support from Pepco). (WaPo, 4/10)

– Although Mayor Gray says he wants to close the homeless shelter at D.C. General, he says NIMBYism will make it difficult to create smaller shelters throughout the city. (WaPo, 4/9)

CHILDREN & YOUTH | Advocates led by the D.C. Alliance of Youth Advocates are drafting a bill that would address sex trafficking in the District. (DCist, 4/10)

ARTS/TRANSIT | Fairfax County considers turning the Silver Line into a massive public art project (WaPo, 4/9). Yes, please! This is such a great idea I won’t even make a snarky comment about the silver line.

– I don’t even know how to categorize this piece since its implications are so cross-cutting: day care costs more than college in 31 states. This has a lot to do with why so many women are staying home rather than returning to work after they have a baby, as a Pew study released earlier this week reported. (WaPo, 4/9)

– The region’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly last month. (WBJ, 4/10)

Even if you’re tired of cherry blossom photos (or, at least, tourists), you should check these pictures out, just for the awesome outfits.

– Rebekah

Everybody’s Talking About It: Food, Health, and Wealth

Several months ago, Crystal Townsend, President of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, introduced the Washington Regional Convergence Partnership in the Daily WRAG. Next week we’ll share an update with you about the Partnership’s work. Today we introduce a series of blog posts from the Partnership’s consultant on some of the learning opportunities she’s tracking this week.

by Lindsay Smith
Consultant, Washington Regional Convergence Partnership

Food is a hot topic. If it’s one that you’ve kept tabs on at all recently, you may have heard the phrase “everybody eats” a lot for good reason. Everybody does eat, always will, and bound up in this simple statement is a chance to connect something you do need to do every day and just about any other issue you care about. Care about childhood development? Reducing chronic disease and health care costs? Clean water, biodiversity, and climate change? Fair wages and new job opportunities for workers of all skill levels? It all comes together in the food system!

The Greater Washington region is blessed with an abundance of national experts in food, health, nutrition, and agriculture. It is also home to a group of local experts and talented entrepreneurs, nonprofits, community members, and elected officials working to build a more sustainable regional food system in the region. Learning and interest about the connection between what we put on our plates and human health and well-being, environmental sustainability, and new economic opportunities, has taken off.

Curious to learn more? Here’s a sampling of some of the webinars, workshops, and meetings you can access via Metro ride or the comfort of your own home this week:

Monday, June 17th
7:00 to 9:00 pm. Hill Center, Washington, DC: Screening and Director Discussion of Vanishing of the Bees hosted by the Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides. [More info.]

Wednesday, June 19th
12:30 to 2:00 pm. PolicyLink Webinar: Implementing Equity in Health in All Policies & Health Impact Assessments: From Concept to Action [More info.]

2:00 to 3 pm. FoodDay.Org Webinar with Food Policy Council expert, Mark Winne: Tools for Policy Change [More info.]

6:00 to 8:00 pm. Rockville Library, Rockville, MD: Montgomery County Food Council sponsors a Panel on Food-Related MoCo Jobs [More info.]

Thursday, June 20th
9:30 to 11 am. Bipartisan Policy Center, Washington, DC Food and Farm Policy: Impacts on Health and Health Care Costs. [More info.]

3:30 to 4:45 pm. National Good Food Network Webinar: Raising Dough for Food Businesses [More info.]

6:00 to 8:00 pm. Union Market, Washington, DC. Smart Growth America presents Food in the City [More info.]

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is the fiscal agent for the Washington Regional Convergence Partnership. If you are a funder who is interested in joining the effort and learning more about this Regional Convergence Partnership, please contact Lindsay Smith.

Region’s neighborhoods becoming more diverse, except in Prince George’s…Lehrman Foundation announces Impact Award winner…Bullying a major problem in region’s schools [News, 10.31.11]

REGION | In a two-part report, The Washington Post takes a deep look at what census data reveals about diversity in our region’s neighborhoods. Part one explores the fact that the “archetypal all-white neighborhood is vanishing with remarkable speed,” due to major increases in the number of Hispanics and Asians. More specifically (WaPo, 10/29):

From The Post: An interactive comparison of census data

In the District, just one in three neighborhoods is highly segregated, the Post analysis found. A decade ago, more than half were.

In the Maryland suburbs, one in five neighborhoods is dominated by one race or ethnicity, down from almost a third in 2000.

The biggest drop has been in Northern Virginia, where only one in 20 neighborhoods is a racial or ethnic enclave. No suburb is more diverse than Fairfax County, where just 2 percent of neighborhoods are segregated.

Part two is focused on Prince George’s County, which is bucking the trends of the rest of the region and is actually becoming more segregated (WaPo, 10/30):

[T]he number of Prince George’s neighborhoods where more than 85 percent of residents are the same race or ethnicity — what demographers consider a high level of segregation — has inched up, from 25 percent in 1990 to 27 percent last year.

Though the increase is small, any uptick is startling in comparison with everywhere else in the region.

Related: Funders and nonprofits – join us as we continue the conversation about regionalism on November 16th at WRAG’s annual meeting, A Region United: Act II.

GIVING | The Jacob & Charlotte Lehrman Foundation has selected The Literacy Lab as the 2011 Lehrman Foundation Impact Award recipient. The Literacy Lab, which provides individualized support to increase literacy in low-income students, will receive a one-time $25,000 grant “to strengthen its infrastructure, and ultimately serve more students.”

The Lehrman Foundation also announced that One World Education was a finalist for the Impact Award. Read the press release for more information on the two nonprofits and the history of the Impact Award.

HUNGER | From DC Central Kitchen’s Roger Egger – Tackling Hunger: Here’s Hoping This Nonprofit Goes Out of Business (HuffPo, 10/31)

YOUTH | Schools across the region report that bullying is a major problem. (Examiner, 10/31)

HAUNTING | Is the District’s Brooks Mansion haunted? It sure seems like it. (WAMU, 10/31)

LOCAL | Have you ever wondered where the Shaw neighborhood got its name? DCist knows! (DCist, 10/29)  I can tell you where the Capitol Hill neighborhood got its name – and it all started with General John F. Capitol, I think.

TRANSIT | Metro has recorded fewer complaints over the course of the last year (which I would attribute only to a collective understanding of the futility of registering complaints). (Examiner, 10/31)

MASH GOOD! | I was working in the lab late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight

Usually the Redskins wait a little longer to meltdown. But, hey, the snow came early this year, so why not the annual meltdown, too?

I hope everyone has a terrifying Halloween!