DC Mayor’s Office Proposes Investments in Health and Healthy Eating


Martha’s Table applauds and thanks Mayor Muriel Bowser and her administration for their commitment to increasing access to health supports and healthy food among District residents. We commend Mayor Bowser for proposing significant commitments in her State of the District Address and FY16 Budget to programs that increase access to health supports and healthy food— including a proposed FY16 $750,000 investment in expanding joyful food markets.

A strong partnership between Martha’s Table and Capital Area Food Bank aims to bring joyful food markets to all 49 elementary schools—public and private—in Wards 7 and 8. Rollout has begun and monthly markets are currently operating in 4 local elementary schools. At joyful food markets, pop-up grocery stores are set up in elementary school gymnasiums and cafeterias at the end of each month. Every joyful food market provides families with over 20 pounds of free, non-perishable groceries and fresh produce for every enrolled child.

Creating access to healthy foods and expanding knowledge on nutritious eating, especially in areas where food options are limited or too expensive is a critical component of alleviating hunger and food insecurity in our community.

“As a one player in a great network of individuals and organizations committed to increasing access to health supports in the District, Martha’s Table is thrilled to see issues of food insecurity and the importance of preventative health measures addressed by Mayor Bowser’s budget proposal,” says Patty Stonesifer, CEO of Martha’s Table. “We’re excited to work with leaders on these issues across DC – the DC Council, Capital Area Food Bank, the new Food Policy Council—and so many other organizations doing this work in the District, where hunger and food insecurity persist and 1 in 3 children are still lacking secure access to the healthy foods essential to be strong and successful.”