Summer in the 5th District

Summer in the 5th District

Summer has seen much action with the always-creative and hardworking Outreach Team of the Metropolitan Police Department’s 5th district.

Officers Ishby, Hamilton and others are always looking for new ways to live out the “We are here to help” motto, and Breadcoin has been a significant part of their strategy as they use Breadcoins to feed hungry folks and treat kids who may be out and about without lots of food. They are using Breadcoins at public health and fitness events, giving them directly to homeless residents on the streets, setting up events where they build relationships and answer questions residents may have.

The 5D Outreach Team along with Captain Merrill engaged 52 Carver/Langston residents in a fun trivia game designed to spark conversation as part of the District’s coronavirus response. As a gift, bags of toiletries and food along with Breadcoins were provided as new relationships were built.

At another event 5D’s Outreach Team along with Captain Merrill addressed food insecurities for over 60 residents in PSA 507. Residents enjoyed an opportunity to get a free meal from Breadcoin vendor partner, Royal Rooster, in exchange for answering trivia questions. The Captain was able to answer over 60 questions for residents which led to meaningful conversations.

Officers have gotten food from Captain Cookie and OMG Latin Flavors, also Breadcoin vendors, and fed families and kids with that.

At the heart of Breadcoin are partners like the Washington DC Police Foundation, with officers like these in 5D on the front lines of caring for folks in need.

Anacostia Community Clean-up Day

Anacostia Community Clean-up Day

Community has always been at the heart of Breadcoin’s mission. The community food tokens are designed to foster engagement, generating face-to-face connections between people of all walks of life who call the same city home. That’s why it felt natural to team up with some other local community organizations to help spread the word about Breadcoin, and to help Breadcoin better know and understand our community here in the DMV area.

Recently, we gathered at the steps of Kramer Middle School in Anacostia on a chilly Saturday morning for a community clean-up organized by Code 3, a nonprofit started by retired police officers to help build better relationships between the police and members of the communities they serve. Armed with rakes, brooms, and sturdy work gloves, we walked the streets picking up trash and clearing debris, chatting with curious neighbors along the way.

Afterwards, we warmed up together over burgers and hot dogs grilled outside and shared by all who walked by. There was a small farmer’s market offering fresh oranges, tomatoes, lettuce, and sweet potatoes, along with canned goods and other dried foods, all of it generously donated by Serve DMV, an outreach arm of McLean Bible Church, which shares Breadcoin’s mission to ensure that none of our neighbors go hungry. We were also joined by Captain Cookie – one of Breadcoin’s newest vendors – whose baby blue food truck filled with mouth-watering homemade cookies and ice cream in classic flavors proved to be the hit of the day.

What felt most remarkable about the event was the sense of unity among the various groups represented, and the ease with which we melded together our shared commitment to community. There was no battle for prominence, nor any attempts to outshine one another in the overpopulated arena of non-profits operating in the DC region. Everyone played their part with enthusiasm, graciousness, and humility, recognizing that when it comes to community, we are each, at best, only one small piece of a complex, living puzzle.

That’s how we see ourselves at Breadcoin. That’s why we welcome partnerships and outreach events and the chance to team up with others to talk about our common hopes for our city. It’s a modern-day echo of the words of the prophet Jeremiah, reminding us that when we seek the welfare of those around us, we too will prosper.

We’re excited to keep spreading the word about Breadcoin, and to see more and more tokens in circulation on our streets. But ultimately, we’re most excited about how this incredible community of retired cops, pastors, teachers, mentors, students, economists, authors, ice-cream truck vendors, and so many others are working together for the shared prosperity of us all.

Story: Colleen Borovsky; Photo: Yuri Borovsky