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Francis on the Hill is dedicated to supporting children and families in Washington, DC with a special focus on the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Its projects help alleviate economic insecurity by providing fresh, wholesome groceries, diapers, and gifts of new clothing and footwear for neighborhood residents. Volunteers also work to enhance the beauty of public spaces in and around Meridian Hill Park.


In March 2022 we began assembling pallets of donated food, medical supplies, and other goods for shipment to Ukrainian refugees in Ukraine and Poland.


Francis on the Hill


Gifts from the Heart


Families in Columbia Heights and nearby Washington, DC neighborhoods experience high levels of food insecurity. Latino and African American families are disproportionately impacted, especially those who can’t qualify for government support programs or whose pandemic-related benefits (food stamps, child tax credits) were reduced or ended. 

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When Covid-19 restrictions began in March 2020, Following Francis founder Dr. Carol Conner saw an opportunity to serve those whose lives had been especially personally touched by the pandemic. She asked volunteers to pursue donations of surplus perishable foods from suppliers, grocery stores, and other food purveyors in order to provide fresh, wholesome groceries quickly and reliably. 

Now in its fourth year, Francis on the Hill’s grocery project currently distributes grocery bags filled with fresh, nutritious food items to 700 families every week:

  • public distributions at Meridian Hill Park (Tuesdays 2-3 PM)

  • deliveries to families and individuals facing food insecurity at:

    • Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC)

    • The Terrell (Short-Term Family Housing site in Ward 1)

We also deliver produce, household cleaning supplies, adult incontinence products, and other supplies to La Vida Senior Center.


Everything we provide is donated by local groceries, restaurants, and regional food distributors.

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In 2022, we distributed 663,500 pounds of food,

an average of 12,760 pounds (over six tons) per week.

MH Park

Amplifying the beauty of the “living room” of a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse area of DC, helping transform it into a place where life can be enjoyed more fully.  

Meridian Hill Park

One of Washington’s most significant public parks, Meridian Hill Park was constructed between 1912 and 1940 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994. In the early 1970s, as areas of Washington experienced economic decline, the park and its neighborhoods suffered.


In the early 1990s, a widely acclaimed partnership between the Friends of Meridian Hill Park organization (now Washington Parks and People) and the National Park Service helped restore the park.

The park remains a gathering place for poor and marginalized people inhabiting increasingly affluent surrounding neighborhoods. Many use it as their front yard or even their living room—families, the ill, the aged, the homeless. The park belongs to everyone.

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Our goal is to uplift the park to help make it vivid and colorful and happy: a place where people can come anytime and be refreshed by immaculate pathways and bright, fresh bouquets wherever they look.

Diapers & Clothing

Diapers & Clothes



Francis on the Hill is an Emergency Diaper Hub of the Greater DC Diaper Bank, with outdoor distributions on the third Friday of every month at Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC), 16th and Irving Street NW. Working with school social workers, we also provide diapers to parenting teens at CHEC and to 15 elementary schools through a partnership with the DC Public Schools Office of Elementary Schools.

In 2022, we distributed over 480,000 diapers, a total value of $144,000.



Francis on the Hill asked manufacturers, private donors and non-profit organizations for donations of new, high-quality clothing for children and young adults from retailers. The clothing has been displayed at outdoor and indoor venues on portable racks for parents and children to choose from.

Prom Dresses

18 September 2020

Columbia Heights Educational Campus

Children’s Dress Clothing

21 October 2020

Columbia Heights Educational Campus



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Trash Removal

​In the fall of 2018, volunteers began removing trash from park pathways and surrounding streets every morning, year-round. 

Francis on the Hill contributes to community efforts to enhance the natural and architectural beauty of this “living room” to make it cleaner and more attractive. Following Francis founder Dr. Carol Conner asked volunteers living in the area to help beautify the park, for the enjoyment of all.

Flower Planting

During the summer of 2019 and with the Park Service’s permission and encouragement, volunteers planted colorful flowers in the large, decorative concrete planters that stood empty for many years. Francis on the Hill also arranged for a local landscaping firm to install and maintain large hanging baskets of flowers on lampposts lining park pathways.

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Enhancing The Upper Terrace 

Hanging flower baskets now adorn the entire upper terrace of the park, lining the walkways along the entire “Mall”, May through October.

Ukrainian Flags

Ukraine Refugee Relief

Since March 2022, Francis on the Hill has acquired needed supplies for shipment to Poland and Ukraine, in partnership with trusted organizations serving the millions of internally displaced Ukrainians as well as refugees who have fled.  

In 2022 Francis on the Hill provided over $48,000 worth of donated shelf stable food, medical supplies, diapers and infant supplies, and hygiene bags for shipment by our partners, United Help Ukraine (UHU) and Convoy of Hope. We also provided over $32,000 worth of new clothing, toys, and diapers for Christmas delivery by United Help Ukraine to 800 orphans in 26 orphanages.  

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Contributors: Francis on the Hill


Numerous companies and organizations responded generously to our requests for donations of high quality food, clothing, infant supplies, and other necessities. We gratefully acknowledge each of them.  

  • Amazon Fresh

  • Americana Grocery

  • Business Depot

  • Capital Area Food Bank

  • Cheesecake Factory

  • Coastal Sunbelt Produce

  • Comfort One Shoes

  • The Daily Dish

  • DC Public Library and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

  • Diaz Foods

  • Each Peach

  • EMD Sales, Inc.

  • Footlocker

  • Giant Food

  • Good360

  • Hillandale Farms

  • Hillandale Farms

  • Macy's

  • Maggiano's

  • Nike Community Store

  • Pacers Running

  • Panera Bread

  • Potomac Shoe Train

  • Project I Am

  • Ramer's Shoes

  • Soles4Souls

  • Soupergirl

  • So What Else

  • Springmill Bakery

  • Staples

  • Trader Joe’s

  • Truly Good Foods

  • Takoma Park Co-op

  • Volunteers of America

  • Whole Foods

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