- Acerca del Hambre
- Erradicar el Hambre
- Nuestro Impacto
- Cómo Puede Ayudar
Editor’s note: This post is part of a weekly, year-long series called the Nourishing Effect. It explores how hunger affects health through the lens of the 2016 Hunger Report. The report is an annual publication of Bread for the World Institute.
By Caron Gremont
For over 35 years, Martha’s Table has been feeding the hungry and homeless in and around the District of Columbia. Like many other regional and national organizations dedicated to the fight against hunger, the focus has been on getting food — any food — to those in need, but not necessarily the best or right food.
Martha’s Table believes that everyone — regardless of income level — deserves a healthy life. While 55 percent of D.C. residents are overweight or obese, and with diabetes rates at 8 to 15 percent across the city, the problem is even more acute in low-income communities. In many cases, the population that Martha’s Table serves is disproportionally overweight or obese and diabetic. We believe we have a responsibility to provide food that supports the efforts of our community to lead a healthy life.
In addition to running free pop-up healthy grocery markets in elementary schools across D.C., Martha’s Table operates McKenna’s Wagon, a mobile food truck that rolls out 7 days a week, 365 days a year to feed the homeless and hungry at three established downtown locations.
Each evening, McKenna’s Wagon feeds 300 of the city’s most vulnerable men and women, with a hot, one-pot meal, sandwiches, dessert, and a drink. The one-pot meal, made on-site at Martha’s Table, consists of fresh vegetables, rice, and meat or beans. For many years, we have depended on contributions from local grocery stores, which consisted of, among other items, sheet cakes, cookies and pies just past their sell-by dates for dessert on the Wagon. Each afternoon, a crew of volunteers would come to Martha’s Table to help us place these desserts on single serving plates and wrap them in plastic wrap to go out on the van in the evening. These desserts would often include pink and red heart-shaped cookies days after Valentine’s Day, or standard “Happy Birthday” sheet cakes that just didn’t sell.
Earlier this year, we at Martha’s Table decided to make a significant change. Instead of depending on donated sweets, we decided we would bake homemade muffins in-house and send those out on the Wagon for dessert each evening. Before we made this change, we tested out some muffin recipes and asked our clients for feedback. We started with slightly sweeter muffins and, over time, decreased the sugar content. The muffins — which vary from oat banana to blueberry to chocolate chip — are all made with whole-wheat flour. The same volunteers who showed up daily to package the grocery store sweets now help with muffin baking. And, each evening, fresh (and sometimes warm!) muffins go out to hundreds of men and women in D.C. as part of their meal. In addition to supporting health, freshly made muffins make the men and women we serve feel valued and important because we care enough about them to bake, from scratch, healthy treats. This is a positive step towards healthier living for the community we work with in Washington, D.C.
Caron Gremont is the senior director of healthy eating at Martha’s Table in Washington, D.C.
We believe we have a responsibility to provide food that supports the efforts of our community to lead a healthy life.
Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.
Immigration is a hunger issue on both sides of the border. We call on Congress to take a comprehensive approach to immigration reform.
Fragile Environments, Resilient Communities explains how state fragility stands in the way of ending hunger and extreme poverty.
A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.
Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.
This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-African people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.
Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.
Bruce Puckett urged...
A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.
For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.
Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.
Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.
Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...
Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.