Where Food Meets Community - Capital Area Food Bank
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Where Food Meets Community

By Paula Reichel June 3, 2014

mobile-marketplaceA farmer’s market is a hub of community activity. Neighbors can greet each other while browsing fresh, local produce, baked goods, cheeses and other staples cultivated by regional farmers and local artisans. Throughout the Washington metro area, particularly in the District, farmer’s markets are plentiful thanks to the increased demand for local produce by a booming population of food conscious consumers.
The demand for produce spans all income brackets, yet the proliferation of farmer’s markets does not mean increased access to fresh produce for all. For many low-income DC residents, the cost and accessibility of fresh produce is a deterrent that makes this dietary staple a fleeting luxury.
To address this issue, the Capital Area Food Bank will launch its DC Community Marketplace on Saturday, June 7 at the 100 block of L Street, NW (between New Jersey Avenue and First Street, NW).   The Marketplace will provide low-income families in the District with 30 pounds of monthly produce in a farmer’s market setting. Located in the heart of DC and in a high-needs community, the Community Marketplace will also serve as a hub where residents can learn about continuing education, job placement, and health and housing services, among others, available to them at little or no cost. Within walking distance of a library, school, and recreation center, the Marketplace encourages children and families to shop, learn and play together while reinforcing the importance of healthy eating.
The CAFB will partner with the neighboring Farm at Walker Jones, an emerging urban farm that is operated by DC Greens, to receive produce cultivated by Walker Jones’ students.
This is the CAFB’s first Community Marketplace in the District. The other two food bank operated Marketplaces are in Reston, VA and Lanham, MD. The DC Community Marketplace will operate every first Saturday of the month, year-round from 10 AM-12 PM.
The food bank is proud to offer this service to residents of Washington, DC.  As a family gathers around a table, so too does a community unite around food.