TryVeg & Joyful Food Markets Bring Fresh Food to DC Families

TryVeg’s Vegan Food & Lifestyle Coach Jessica Carter teaches students how to make a simple salad from ingredients at the market. is proud to be this year’s sponsor of the Joyful Food Market at Drew Elementary School in Washington, DC. This fully vegan “market” in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank pops up at the Ward 7 school every month, offering students 15lbs each of fresh produce and healthy non-perishables. Simple recipes and lessons on nutritious plant-based eating are also served up.

A program of Martha’s Table, Joyful Food Market is an initiative to address food insecurity in DC’s wards 7 and 8. In these wards east of the Anacostia River, there is minimal access to affordable healthy foods.

In fact, the two wards have only three grocery stores between them, while according to a 2017 report, other wards average about six grocery stores within their borders.

This lack of affordable options easily classifies wards 7 and 8 as food deserts. Much of the food available in these communities is from corner stores and carry-out.

These issues of food access lead to preventable diseases like diabetes and obesity, and a staggering 1 in 7 DC households will struggle with food insecurity.

Joyful Food Market

Volunteers fill shopping bags with fresh fruits and vegetables for 179 students and their families.

At TryVeg, we know how important it is to make plant-based eating easy and accessible–and that means helping to ensure that everyone is able to get their hands on fresh fruits and veggies and learn the best and simplest ways to cook meals that are better for us, the animals, and our environment.

The TryVeg staff and volunteer team prepares for nearly 200 students to arrive at the market.

Interested in volunteering with us to serve food to DC families? Email COK Outreach Manager Carissa Marks at about one (or more) of the following dates:

Before you go:

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Stuart McDonald is a Creative Writer at Compassion Over Killing (COK), a national non-profit animal protection organization based in Washington, DC. She is passionate about making an ethical lifestyle easy and accessible for all and collaborating across social movements to create a kinder world. She writes about everything vegan: from plant-based eating to activism to legislation. Read her work on and

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