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University of the District of Columbia to Install Hoop House to Combat Food Desert

Urban garden initiative seeks to transform community through Food Production and Economic Empowerment

WASHINGTON DC – The University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) will join with ReGeneration House of Praise to install a small portable greenhouse, called a Hoop House, in South East Washington DC. The project is funded though a grant from Wells Fargo and expands the church's ability to grow food and host hands on education and job training events.

"We were able to grow well over 600 lbs. of food in our church garden - our Garden of Eden," says Pastor Cheryl Mitchell Gaines. "This simple moveable Hoop House, and the new growing techniques we will be able to showcase there, will dramatically increase our capacity to provide fresh, nutritious food to our neighbors."

And growing food is just the beginning. The vision that Pastor Gaines has for her Garden of Eden is that it serves as a centerpiece for economic empowerment. "Urban Agriculture is an important element of the new green economy," says Dr. Sabine O’Hara, Dean of CAUSES. "By adding food production a marginally successful food processing business can turn into a lucrative venture".

ReGeneration House of Praise is well on its way to success. Earlier this year, twelve members of the congregation took a food safety certification course through CAUSES. All twelve passed the national food safety exam that is offered through the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The new Hoop House will serve as a training facility for business development and entrepreneurship as well as an urban garden and food production site.

The two-day event will be held March 16th at 3754 MLK Ave. SE starting at 9:00 am, and will feature food demonstrations, vegetable carvings, nutrition counseling, games and prizes. A church revival follows on March 17th at Faith Presbyterian Church, 4161 South Capital Street beginning at 3:00 pm.

About The University Of The District Of Columbia

An HBCU, urban land-grant, and the only public university in the nation’s capital, The University of the District of Columbia is committed to a broad mission of education, research and community service.  Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, the University of DC offers Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees and a host of workplace development services designed to create opportunities for student success.  The University is comprised of a Community College, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, and the David A. Clarke School of Law.  To learn more, visit

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University’s EO Policy Statement, please visit:

The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education - 3624 Market Street - Philadelphia, PA 19104 - (267) 284–5000.