February 2018 Monthly Newsletter

Starsha Valentine Advocacy & Policy, AyaUplift Workforce Development Program, Community Markets, Micro-Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, The Farm at Kelly Miller, Urban Agriculture

Dreaming Out Loud is ready for 2018! Over the past few months we have completed the first phase of The Farm at Kelly Miller, welcomed our first Food Corps/Americorps Service member, and established new programs and partnerships to further our mission. Read on to learn about what we’ve been up to!

Urban Agriculture
Planning for this year’s agricultural season has begun! The Farm at Kelly Miller along with the DOL Organic Garden and Dix Street Garden will be a part of a larger network of food distribution in the district and we are so excited about what’s to come. In August, we welcomed Kat Riascos, our Food Corps/Americorps Service member to work at Kelly Miller Middle School. Kat’s aim is to educate the students on historical references for food and culture, nutrition, and social justice within their communities. We also hope to encourage entrepreneurship using the food system to help the students reimagine their dreams. Stay up to date on Kat’s blog posts and learn more about our farm-to-school curriculum.

D.R.E.A.M: (Micro-Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Training)
We want to hear from you! If you’re interested in food entrepreneurship, take our survey today and enter to win a $25 Visa card. The survey will close Friday, February 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm.

DOL’s mission is to create economic opportunities for the DC metro region’s marginalized community members through building a healthy, equitable food system. In order to further that goal, DOL is building the DREAM program (DOL’s Ready for Entrepreneurship Accelerator Modules) which offers training and technical assistance to budding food entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business.

With funding from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development, we offered two introductory workshops in late 2017 which provided information about the DC Cottage Food Law and how a local resident can use these regulations to create an opportunity for entrepreneurship. In 2018, we will expand our training modules to include more information on starting your business, food-based regulations, branding, labeling and more.  Learn more about the DREAM pilot program launching early in 2018.

AyaUplift: Workforce Development Program
This spring, Dreaming Out Loud, in partnership with Hustlerz 2 Harvesters, will host our first cohort of trainees for the AyaUplift program. This program will host up to 6 trainees using the food system as a training tool.

Trainees will receive:

  • Garden/Farm Training
  • Farmer’s Market Management Training
  • Food Systems & Community Engagement Training
  • Personal Leadership Development Training

DOL aims to cultivate transferable skills in the trainees as well as develop their personal achievement plan for a sustainable future for them and their families. By creating economic opportunity for these trainees including returning citizens and low income residents, we are helping families in Wards 7 and 8 build a sustainable future.

Learn more about our program and upcoming info session!

Thanks to our funders Prince Charitable Trusts and Farm Aid for helping get this program off the ground!

Community Markets
2018 Season planning underway! We are selecting new locations for our markets in Wards 7 & 8. Stay tuned in the coming months for announcements!

Food Policy Corner
In September 2017, Mayor Bowser submitted the final regulations for the Cottage Food Law to the DC Council for approval. This law, aimed at small food business entrepreneurs, allows at-home preparation of food and food products with revenue up to $25,000 annually. DOL and the DC Food Policy Council have worked to ensure that these regulations are fair and useful for DC’s marginalized populations, creating economic opportunity for everyone. Stay updated on regulations by attending DC Food Policy Council meetings throughout the year.

Upcoming Events (Visit the DOL calendar for most updated information)

February 8, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
AyaUplift: Workforce Development Information Session
Malcolm X Opportunity Center
1351 Alabama Ave SE, Washington, DC 20032
RSVP: https://ayaupliftinfo2018.eventbrite.com

February 22, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
AyaUplift: Workforce Development Information Session
City First Bank of DC
1432 U Street NW Washington, DC 20009
RSVP: https://ayaupliftinfo2018.eventbrite.com

March 15, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FKM Community Meeting
Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library
3935 Benning Rd NE, Washington, DC 20019
RSVP: https://kellymillerfeb2018update.eventbrite.com