News

Give Hunger A Summer Break

04.08.2014

Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner. And without access to school breakfast and lunch programs, children are much hungrier during the summer months. Our 9-year-old Helina has an answer for solving hunger: “People should ask their mommies to go to the grocery store.”

Unfortunately, not all parents have enough money to go to the grocery store every time their family is hungry. Here in Washington, DC, an astounding one-in-three children currently live on the edge of hunger. The fast-approaching end of the school year has the potential to plunge thousands more into food insecurity. School breakfast and lunch programs will end for the summer and families will need to spend more to feed their children.

Summer food costs for families with children will go up an average of $300 per month.

Martha’s Table is determined to make things different for underserved children and their families this summer. We will address summer hunger for children and put healthy produce in families’ grocery bags when they come to Martha’s Markets, our pop-up and accessible market for children and families in crisis.
In June, we will launch a summer expansion of our school-based monthly market program by providing healthy summer groceries to meet people where they are in community centers, at other nonprofits serving DC youth, and in elementary schools that offer summer classes.

We will also continue to provide two bags of groceries to families at the end of the month, when money is likely to be tight and food stamp benefits have run out. Per family, this means access to 6 lbs of fresh produce and another 19 lbs of rice, beans and other essentials. In addition, we’ll work to sign people up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) so there is food in the cupboards for more children and families, and we’ll sponsor cooking events to make learning about good nutrition fun.

Everyone should have access to vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh red peppers, summer squash, snap peas, green beans—or even purple beets:

“I like to come to Martha’s Market because of the vegetables. Last summer, there were purple beets, which I love. What you eat makes all the difference.” Ms. Thelma, Rita Bright Monthly Market.

We couldn’t agree more! What you eat does make a difference in physical and mental development and the ability to learn and move forward in life. With your support, Martha’s Table will ensure that as many children and families as possible in our neighborhoods don’t miss meals this summer. Help us serve our local communities with dignity as they shop for summer’s bounty! If you would like to support our expansion of Martha’s Markets, one of our signature healthy eating programs.

Please go to www.marthastable.org/donate and help us give hunger a summer break.