Petula Dvorak’s July 8 Subway column, “A food bank has opened in an upscale DC neighborhood. It is about to be closed. suggested that residents of Van Ness pushed for the closure of a food bank because of their selfish desire to drive out low-income neighbors. The property is owned by the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), which also owns several buildings near the Van Ness-UDC subway station. I don’t think there was a public outcry against the pantry. Many neighbors actively contribute (and use) it.
UDC appears to have done little to fill retail space in its buildings or to use the buildings at all. The empty windows leave the neighborhood abandoned. This does not make UDC a good neighbor or a good steward of DC resources. Its retail space is expected to generate revenue to support the school or be used to house school activities. Instead, in recent weeks we have learned that the food bank is being evicted and a local restaurant tenant is closing, after reporting a drastic rent increase and the school’s reluctance to accept a long lease. term.
The fact that the neighborhood is not a food desert is certainly one of the reasons why the new residents cited in the article like living there. The expensive stores Ms Dvorak alluded to have a different owner and have been active in the neighborhood for decades.
There was no need to attack both long-time residents and new residents of the Van Ness neighborhood.
Heidi Markovitz, Washington