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[PRESS RELEASE] Martha’s Table’s Brings Community Together to Celebrate 16,000 Volunteers in 2015

[PRESS RELEASE] Martha’s Table’s Brings Community Together to Celebrate 16,000 Volunteers in 2015

Linder Lends a Helping Hand Volunteers

DC-Based Organization and Partners Recognize Collective Community Efforts to Decrease Food Insecurity and Spread the Joy of Healthy Eating Throughout the City

May 10, 2016 (Washington, D.C.) – On Thursday, May 12th, the Martha’s Table community will gather to celebrate the work of its many annual volunteers—including individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, foundations, and school and church groups—who help ensure that Martha’s Table is able to open its doors to children, families, and neighbors in need 365 days a year.

At Martha’s Table, a corps of over 16,000 volunteers saves the organization more than $1 million in operating costs annually.  Volunteers have played a large role at Martha’s Table since its inception in 1980.  This year, a number of schools, businesses, and church groups went above and beyond, rallying around the organization’s Adopt a Market program, which utilizes volunteerism to increase access to healthy food for more than 5,000 children and their families each month across Washington, D.C., with an emphasis on Wards 7 & 8.  Through this initiative, 17 volunteer groups helped distribute more than 300,000 pounds of healthy groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables over the past year.

“We are incredibly grateful to the groups that have each adopted one of our markets and send ten volunteers each month to ensure our market program can achieve the greatest reach and have the deepest impact,” says Caron Gremont, Martha’s Table’s Senior Director of Healthy Eating.  “It’s amazing to have so many groups—from local high schools to national non-profits to small businesses—commit to prioritizing volunteerism and deepening their commitment to our community.”

Groups who adopted a market in the 2015-2016 academic year included:

  • Schools: The Edmund Burke School, DeMatha Catholic High School, Friendship Tech Academy, Maret School
  • Companies: The Advisory Board Company, Bernstein Management, Linder Global Events, Optoro, Trustify, Walmart, Weber Shandwick, Yelp
  • Non-profits, foundations, and government agencies: Clinton Foundation, Community Justice Project, Potomac Job Corps, World Bank

Through the Adopt a Market program, volunteer groups “adopt” a school, where they help set up and operate a “pop-up” grocery market at one of 30 selected locations on a monthly basis.  In partnership with Martha’s Table staff, volunteers distribute 23 pounds of fresh produce and healthy pantry staples per child to families at no cost, while nurturing strong connections to District schools and neighbors.

The Adopt a Market program will allow Martha’s Table, in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank, to operate over 50 healthy markets by 2018, eventually impacting more than 15,000 children and their families.  And, as Martha’s Table programs continue to expand, their success will rely more and more on the generosity of dedicated and passionate community members.  This year, the organization is on track to host over 19,000 volunteers to support its many programs.

Groups interested in adopting a healthy market can visit http://marthastable.org/get-involved-2/adopt-a-market/ to learn more.

Groups and individuals interested in other volunteer opportunities with Martha’s Table’s Healthy Start, Healthy Eating, and Healthy Connections programs can visit www.marthastable.org/volunteer to learn more.

All Martha’s Table volunteers are invited to celebrate their service at an upcoming happy hour award ceremony on Thursday, May 12th from 5:30-7:30 pm at Cork Market (1805 14th St).

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Ryan Palmer
Martha’s Table
Director of Stakeholder Engagement

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