More than 13 million children in America live in households where they don't have consistent access to enough nutritious food for a healthy life. Yet studies show that proper food and nutrition are vital to the growth and development of these youngest members of society.
Martha's Table has been providing quality education programs, healthy food and family support to those battling hardship in Washington, D.C., for nearly four decades. In 2011, they forged a unique partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank to create Martha's Markets. This program of monthly pop-up grocery markets provides healthy groceries at no cost to address the ongoing crisis of food insecurity in our nation's capital, where one-third of children live in or on the edge of hunger.
Today, Martha's Table and the Capital Area Food Bank operate more than ten Martha's Markets in elementary schools and community centers across the District.
The Capital Area Food Bank provides and delivers fresh produce and high-quality shelf-stable foods for the Martha's Markets program. Martha's Table's staff and volunteers set up and run the markets, where colorful tables with baskets of fresh produce fill the event space and festive music plays. Here, students and families can shop with dignity and also enjoy nutrition education and cooking demonstrations that encourage a joyful, healthy connection to food. Families can bring home up to 23 pounds of healthy food (approximately 19 meals) per market to supplement their monthly grocery shopping.
"Over the past five years, Martha's Markets have provided healthy food and nutrition resources to tens of thousands of individuals struggling with food insecurity," said Rae Davidson, Assistant Director, Corporate and Foundation Partnerships. "Based on this success, we have replicated our model east of the Anacostia River, where the need is great. By 2018, we will host pop-up markets in all 49 public, charter and parochial elementary schools in D.C.'s Wards 7 and 8 to support even more members of our community."