FRG Wins 2023 District Sustainability Award!

We are extremely excited to announce that Farmers Restaurant Group has won a 2023 District Sustainability Award! We would like to thank District of Columbia leadership and the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) for the award.  

As a company, we know our social impact initiatives are directly connected to our environmental impact initiatives, and we are grateful the DOEE recognizes that addressing inequities is critical the building a sustainable city. To learn more about our sustainability award, you can watch the DOEE video that includes all the 2023 award winners here.

Farmers Restaurant Group Co-Owner Dan Simons says, “Sustainability is about being here tomorrow, as well as 100 years from now. But if we want everyone in our community to be able to compost, recycle, or reduce their electricity consumption, we need to help address some of the inequities in our communities to make sure people aren’t food insecure, have access to job opportunities and continuing education, and are healthy — including their mental wellness.” 

Our efforts to feed our communities include weekly meals through partnerships with community groups, like Bishop Gary Hill and the Exodus Treatment Center, and Pastor McClain and the Mercy of Christ Fellowship Church. Over the past two years, we have donated over 17,000 meals & groceries to DC Wards 7 & 8. In addition, we partner with Breadcoin, a nonprofit in the District who distributes food tokens to people who food insecure that can be used like cash at local businesses. 

We also have continuing education programs working directly with Justice-Involved-Citizens through DC Or Nothing, Inc. and with Georgetown University’s Pivot Program. Founding Farmers DC also partners with DC schools and their Career Technical Education (CTE) programs to host interns in their hospitality & culinary arts program.  

In addition, all our employees (salaried and hourly) and their family members can receive free online mental health services through Talkspace. This free resource provides access to a therapist they can message 24/7 with no limitations and video calls twice a month. Historically, minority and low-income communities have not had equal access to mental healthcare. Co-Owner Dan Simons has also been talking about the importance of prioritizing mental health in the workplace at various conferences over the past 2 years, including giving the keynote address to the Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit. One of his goals, directly and indirectly, is to influence other leaders in our industry and beyond to follow our example and start providing more of these services for their own employees.   

As a farmer-owned, mission-driven company, we are in it for the long haul, working to protect and preserve our planet and everyone on it.  

Our ongoing sustainability efforts include LEED and Green Restaurant Association certifying all our restaurants. We work closely with our farmers and suppliers working to unbundle the industrial supply chain, earning farmers a larger share of the food dollar. Founding Farmers restaurants have been able to prevent 90% of our waste from being sent to landfills through our extensive recycling and composting programs. We have also collaborated with suppliers such as Coca-Cola to minimize packaging. Coca-Cola now uses corrugated cases to ship products to Founding Farmers locations without the plastic six-pack collars. Our restaurants strive to continually improve our sustainability efforts every day in order to contribute to the preservation of the planet. 

We know we still have a lot of work to do to make a change in our industry, and we are thrilled to be recognized by the DOEE for our efforts and hope together we can continue to effect change and influence others.