Nonprofits operating out of THEARC in Ward 8 kicked into gear to provide extra food for its community. THEARC, which stands for Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus, houses a diverse array of 14 nonprofits that provide everything from youth recreation to employment training. The largest nonprofit there, which also manages the building, is Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR), led by FC2 Trustee Rahsaan Bernard.
Early on in the crisis, BBAR asked residents what their greatest need was. Food was always the top of the list. DC Central Kitchen had already set up a distribution center at THEARC for kids to collect school lunches while schools were closed. BBAR decided to supplement those school lunches with a bag of groceries, which have also included household supplies like toilet paper and diapers, for families to pick up. Last week they began doing home deliveries for seniors. Since March 16, it has provided 8,700 bags of groceries to over 2,500 residents.
BBAR is in a P3 partnership with property management and development firm WC Smith, led by FC2 Trustee W. Christopher Smith, Jr. The firm helped design and build THEARC, and it is funding the groceries and providing volunteers for assembly and delivery.