Food Insecurity in the District of Columbia: Do Community Gardens Help?

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More than 10% of the District of Columbia’s residents have difficulty accessing affordable and healthy food, a number that is now projected to be over 16% because of COVID-19 (Sustainable DC, 2019; Food Security Report, 2020). Wards 7 and 8 experience the highest levels of food insecurity, with one grocery store per 60,000 residents versus other wards with one grocery store per 10,000 residents (Sustainable DC, 2019). Community gardens are sometimes referred to as part of the solution to food insecurity. This study explored if there was an intersection between community gardens and food security in Washington, DC. Through qualitative interviews and an inductive thematic analysis this study concludes that community gardens have a role in food security for those who experience food insecurity. The three core themes that emerged from studying community gardens were food security, relationships, and quality of life.