Sandy Spring Bank Helps Martha’s Table Spread the Joy of Healthy Eating

Girl at Martha's Table Eating Fruit

Guest Blogger:  Bhumip Patel, Chief Financial Officer, Martha’s Table

Did you know that 1 in 3 households with children in the District of Columbia struggles with food insecurity? And that east of the Anacostia River, there are only three grocery stores for a quarter of D.C.’s population? That is why it is with gratitude that we recently welcomed a group of Sandy Spring Bank employees as volunteers for our Martha’s Table Joyful Food Market in Washington, DC. This program, launched by Martha’s Table and the Capital Area Food Bank in 2015, reduces food insecurity and encourages healthy eating among elementary school-aged children and their families east of the Anacostia River.

It is because of volunteers like those from Sandy Spring Bank that we are able to move the needle on both food insecurity and healthy eating in a way that includes the whole family and celebrates fruit and vegetables. At the markets, families have fun shopping for healthy groceries and fresh produce, all at no cost. Food educators are also on site preparing quick and easy dishes for visitors to sample and showcasing the practical ways that families can use the fresh ingredients available at the market. In the 2015-2016 school year, shoppers took over 36,000 trips to Joyful Food Markets.

Sandy Spring Bank’s partnership with Martha’s Table and the Capital Area Food Bank makes a difference every day in the lives of these children. With their help, over 15,000 children and their families who visit the Joyful Food Markets gain reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. I was able to join volunteers from Sandy Spring at a recent Joyful Food Market, where they helped families select beautiful fresh produce and assisted our chef educators with live cooking demonstrations. Together we strive to ensure every child and family can thrive at school, home and in life.

This work could not be done without the help of sponsors like Sandy Spring Bank. In addition to providing volunteers on the ground, Sandy Spring Bank is also our premier banking partner to help fund a new Martha’s Table Center in the Fort Stranton/Hillsdale neighborhood of Ward 8. The new center, called The Commons, will offer a full range of child, youth, and family-focused programming along with health services and affordable housing. Through this partnership, we’re able to expand our physical presence and better reach the children, youth and families in a community that has been under-resourced for too long.

On behalf of Martha’s Table and the Capital Area Food Bank, I want to express our warmest appreciation to Sandy Spring Bank and its employees.  We applaud your generous spirit and commitment to building stronger families and communities in the Washington, DC area, and we are grateful for your partnership in bringing healthy foods to the many children in need in our region.