Clinic Advances Food Justice for DC Metro Area

CEDLC students + Taylor
CEDLC Students and Prof. Joe Pileri with Mayeasha Taylor (1st row, 2nd from left), Dream Coordinator at Dreaming out Loud.

The Community and Economic Development Law Clinic (CEDLC) has forged a new partnership with Dreaming Out Loud, an organization that works to create economic opportunities for the DC metro region’s marginalized community members by building a healthy, equitable food system.

Through Dreaming Out Loud and other organizations, CEDLC students have been working with small, community-based businesses that sell fresh, homegrown, or homemade foods at neighborhood farmer's markets under the recently-implemented D.C. Cottage Food Act (DCCFA). Students help small business clients with ordinary formation issues and compliance under the DCCFA and other applicable laws and regulations.

Food entrepreneurs fill a significant need created by the epidemic of "food deserts" in low-income, sparsely served areas where residents cannot find quality fresh produce and other healthy foods at reasonable prices. Without access to good nutrition, residents suffer from poor health and lower quality of life. 

To interrupt this cycle, food entrepreneurs bring nutritious, affordable food into the community and make their merchandise accessible to all customers, including those who receive benefits from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Their efforts help to improve public health, bring new sources of funds into the community, and create economic opportunities for themselves and the community members they employ.