D.C. Nonprofit Targets Homeless Population
Martha's Table Offers Clothes, Food and More
Washington -- Martha’s Table, located in northwest Washington works to make a difference in the lives of the homeless and less fortunate by serving their needs. The non-profit addresses the emergency needs of the homeless with food and clothing programs, working to ensure a bright future for children and families through education and family support services.
In the District, the homeless population is currently over 12,215 homeless. With this high number, the services at Martha’s Table are open to everyone as they seek to give members of this community a reliable and accessible support system.
Martha’s Table offers three programs; Martha’s Outfitters, Healthy Eating, and Healthy Start.
With people struggling financially, Martha’s Outfitters allows people in need to come every 60 days to get free clothing. They also operate a thrift store which is open to the public weekly: no items in the thrift store cost more than $5.
Store Manager, Patricia Riddick has been working with Martha’s Outfitters for about a year. Riddick was excited to take the job at Martha’s Table because she feels that she can relate to a lot of the customers. At one point in her life, Riddick was unemployed and shopping at Martha’s Outfitters for professional clothes to wear for job interviews. Never would she have imagined that her next job would actually be the same place.
Riddick explained how people sometimes get so caught up on the little things that are going wrong in their lives without realizing there’s someone struggling to find food, clothing, or shelter every day.
“Until you see someone who doesn’t have anything… It humbles you a lot,” Riddick said. According to Riddick, the most impactful part of working for Martha’s Table is helping children who are in need. “Kids didn’t ask to be in this position. They were born into it,” Riddick said.
Martha’s Outfitters offers a wide variety of clothing in all sizes for men, women, and children. Members of the community make donations to the store daily; and additionally, Walmart and Target sponsor the store. In an effort to enhance the District, Martha’s Outfitters is always striving to make community members feel welcomed. “We are here for the community. Everything that we have is for the community. We’re here to serve them,” Riddick said.
Another program that Martha’s Table offers is its Healthy Eating program. This program has served over 800,000 meals to children, families, and neighbors throughout the District. A 2010 study shows that food insecurity exists in 17.2 million households in America, with 3.9 million of them having children in them. D.C had the highest rate of childhood food insecurity, totaling 30.5 percent. A 2013 study found that D.C. had a higher rate of food insecurity among children than any state. 30.7 percent of the city’s residents, under 18, live in food-insecure households. Of the 49 million people in the U.S. living in food-insecure households, more than 16 million are children. Some 31,000 children in D.C. didn’t know how they would get their next meal.
Volunteer Marie Breslin has been volunteering with Martha’s Table for about 10 years. She has volunteered with both Martha’s Outfitters and Healthy Eating; with the majority of her time spent with Healthy Eating. Breslin began working with Martha’s Table’s monthly community markets and emergency food distribution. Over time, after retiring from Verizon, she is now a full time volunteer with Martha’s Table, where she places the nightly food orders for Healthy Eating. Breslin says that her first thought, after retiring, was to “give back” to the community.
“Everyone deserves dignity and respect, and that’s all I’m about. A customer actually told me that.” Breslin said. “People are struggling, with little access to food. We are here to help them”
Healthy Eating gives people access to fresh, healthy food; it is essential for supporting stronger children, families, and community. The program’s initiatives work to ensure healthy food for those in need and support children and their families to make healthy choices.
The final of the organization’s three programs is its Healthy Start Program. This nationally accredited program offers full day early childhood education to children from three months to three years of age. They also provide out-of-school time programming for pre-kindergarten and elementary-aged students up to the age of 12. This program has 12 classrooms, ranging from 1-4 teachers per class, and additionally volunteers who assist in the classroom.
Assistant Director of Healthy Start, Beatriz Barros, who has been working there for three years said Healthy Start was founded after the Healthy Eating program made Martha’s Table aware that there was a great need for an early childhood program because they saw so many children in need.
“What I’ve noticed over the years, is that what you learn and observe as a child plays a role in what you’ll do as a teenager, and even an adult, every child deserves the opportunity for their brightest future,” Barros said.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More Howard University News Service News Articles
Recent Howard University News Service News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR HOWARD UNIVERSITY NEWS SERVICE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST HOWARD UNIVERSITY NEWS SERVICE
- Organization Seeks To Raise Awareness of Juveniles Tried As Adults
- Donald Folden: A Washington Figure With a Unique History
- The Common Story of Pain, Suffering Few Know About
- Planned Parenthood Avoids Budget Cut, for Now
- Trump Travel Ban Hits Close to Home
- Howard Sports Legend To Retire After Three Decades
- Forum Highlights Relationship Between Peace, Education and Justice
RECENT HOWARD UNIVERSITY NEWS SERVICE CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Amateur Athletes Seek Non-Opioid Pain Relief
- News Site Rantt Takes The Time to Get It Right
- The Opioid Crisis' Latest Victims: Addicted Babies
- The Importance of Protecting Patents
- Zulily Helps Moms Navigate the "Fourth Trimester" in Style
- Veteran Raises Capital Via Alternative Financing
- Stop Pests This Spring With These Safe, Simple Steps
- Have a Blast This Spring Break With These Must-Have...
- Seniors Find That Doing Good Is Good For You
- University Students Take Top Honors at CME Group's Annual...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Deadline Approaching for Phi Kappa Phi Award Programs
- Applications Available for Phi Kappa Phi Student Leadership Summit
- GREEN AMERICA: ONE MILLION TREES COULD BE SAVED EACH YEAR IF UNIVERSITIES SWITCHED TO ONLY RECYCLED PAPER FOR ALUMNI MAGAZINES
- Deadline Approaching for the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship Program
- Entries Are Open for 9th Annual SVG/NACDA College Sports Media Awards