Food Access

Martha’s Table believes that access to fresh, healthy food is essential for supporting strong children, families, and community. Our Healthy Eating initiatives work to ensure healthy food for those in need and support children and their families to make healthy choices.


At our pop-up grocery markets, children, their families, and neighbors can shop at no cost for fresh, healthy produce and healthy pantry staples. About 70% of the food available at each market is composed of produce, such as sweet potatoes, cabbage, and kale, and non-perishable staples range from peanut butter to whole-wheat pasta and beans. While families move from station to station shopping, music plays and fresh food samples are distributed. For more information contact

Martha’s Markets

Martha’s Table’s market program began in August 2011 as the result of a partnership with the Target Foundation’s Meals for Minds program. With support from additional generous donors, Martha’s Markets are currently run in 3 elementary schools, two community centers, and at Martha’s Table, where the market is open to students and families in our own Healthy Start and Healthy Connections programs and our staff. At pop-up markets, families select from fresh, seasonal produce and healthy pantry staples at no cost every month. In addition, our markets include chef-led culinary demonstrations designed to spread the joy of healthy eating.

We currently run Martha’s Markets for students and their families at the following schools:

Browne Education Campus
Burroughs Education Campus
Powell Elementary School

We also run Martha’s Markets at these community centers, which are free and open to the public:

Fort Stanton Recreation Center, 1812 Erie St SE, Washington, DC 20020
Rita Bright Family and Youth Center, 2500 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20003

Joyful Food Markets

In January 2015, Martha’s Table, in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank, launched Joyful Food Markets to increase access to and encourage consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables east of the Anacostia River. Joyful Food Markets are run exclusively in elementary schools in Wards 7 & 8. In each school, colorful tables are filled with baskets of fresh produce and piled high with healthy non-perishable food, while festive music plays. The markets are joyful community events, where families and children can mingle with volunteers and school administrators while selecting from fresh, seasonal produce and healthy pantry staples, totaling 15 pounds of food per enrolled student. In addition, our markets feature kids’ cooking activities, recipe samples, and chef-led culinary demonstrations, designed to get children excited about healthy eating and cooking.

Check out this brief video to experience a Joyful Food Market for yourself!

Joyful Food Markets currently run in 53 elementary schools east of the river, and—by 2018—will be in every public and charter elementary school in Ward 7 & 8. Check out Martha’s Table’s expansion plans here.