This year at the third annual Urban One Honors event, which aired on Sunday night on TV One and Cleo TV, Black women were celebrated for the ways in which their work has uplifted the Black community. One such woman is Kim Ford, President and CEO of Martha’s Table, recipient of this year’s Family Needs Ambassador award, sponsored by Amazon.
Founded over 41 years ago, Martha’s Table set out to address the inequality in Washington, D.C. It began first by providing free after school meals for children. Over the past four decades, the program has expanded to support entire families by offering nationally accredited educational programs that begin at birth and focus on fighting food injustice and promoting family success through the utilization of community resources.
Ford, who has been serving as Martha’s Table CEO since 2018, shared that food justice is an issue of particular importance to D.C.’s Black residents. In Ward 8, where the organization targets most of its resources, there is only one full-service grocery store for a population of 80,552 residents, 92 percent of whom are Black.
As a result of the lack of access to quality food, 73 percent of these residents are classified as overweight or obese.
Ford said, “Food and nutrition have been at the heart and soul of Martha’s Table since we opened doors in 1980. Our daily Martha’s Table markets and Wagon food truck aim to increase access to healthy food and support children and their families in making healthy choices.”
Each week, Martha’s Table supports 6,500 residents with healthy food, either through the markets and food truck, or their pop-up Joyful Food Markets held in 53 elementary schools in Wards 7 and 8.
During these markets, families can shop for high quality produce and other pantry staples at no cost.
Speaking to Madame Noire about being recognized as an Urban One honoree, Ford said, “The Urban One Honors recognition has left me speechless. I am so in awe of the other honorees, their work, and their contributions to their communities and to society overall. To know that our work at Martha’s Table will be featured and our amazing capital city Washington, DC highlighted is already humbling. But to know that I, too, am being acknowledged is simply surreal. My Mom passed away over 20 years ago and I always say I do everything I can to make her proud — and to me, this recognition means I am on the right track. Thank you Urban One!”
You can learn more about Martha’s Table here.