Joyful Food Market

Joyful Food Markets are no cost, farmers’ market-style markets held in elementary schools at dismissal for children and their families. The markets, operated in partnership with CAFB partner Martha’s Table in all 49 elementary schools in Washington D.C.’s Wards 7 & 8, are designed to both increase access to healthy, high quality foods as well as encourage families to eat healthy food.

At each market, children receive a 15-pound bag of groceries, of which 70% is fresh produce. In addition to receiving healthy food, families are invited to sample a dish made with market ingredients at the Joyful Tasting Table and children are encouraged to make their own fruit or vegetable snack at the Joyful Junior Chef Table.

School children participating in a demonstration at a Joyful Food Market

Joyful Food Markets: Spreading the Joy of Healthy Eating

  • Free, healthy food that fill the gap between benefits and schools meals
  • Fun, hands-on education that makes healthy eating fun.
  • A dignified experience with a “choice” model & no lines.
  • Spreading joy at the markets with music, dancing and fun.
  • Volunteers that stand with the community.
  • Partnerships that turn markets into community events.
  • Data driven approach

What We’ve Learned

  • Before visiting a JFM, 46% of families ran out of food and didn’t have enough money to get more once or twice in the last month.
  • 72% of families receive SNAP or another government assistance program.
  • Most families cook dinner an average of five nights a week.
  • 95% of families believe that if they improve the way they eat, they will be healthier
  • Barriers to healthy eating are not a lack of knowledge, rather access, affordability, and motivation to eat better