The Mary House Food Program

In the capital area, 700,000 residents are at risk of hunger. Over 11% of the District is characterized as a food desert, meaning there is a lack of access to affordable and healthy food within a half mile of the area. While food deserts are present throughout the city, the highest concentration is in low-income neighborhoods where residents are already most vulnerable to facing hunger.
Too often, families have to make difficult choices about buying food, paying rent, or providing medical care for their children. Fortunately, Mary House offers food pantry twice a month that provides basic ingredients and produce to our families at no cost. Additionally, we give out weekend bags as a supplemental food program for children in our after school program.

The Mary House Kids' Closet

The Kids’ Closet is a space where Mary House families can exchange their children’s clothes for new and lightly used items once a month. The Kids’ Closet contains children’s clothes for kids of all ages, from newborns to teenagers. It also has a smaller selection of adult clothing for parents to browse. While its focus is clothing, The Kids’ Closet also accepts linens, towels, and accessories. Donations of basic toiletries and other small home goods are also often put out for families.

All Mary House families can attend the Kids’ Closet. Non-Mary House families must contact Mary House in order to get a voucher to attend. All families must contact Mary House if they wish to enter Kids’ Closet on unscheduled days.  

Families are encouraged to bring a bag of washed, lightly used clothes to donate to the Kids’ Closet to help create a self-sustaining program. In exchange, families are allowed approximately one large bag of clothing. Depending on the number of children or need in the family, an additional bag may be taken.Our model helps keep our closet sustainable and allows families to reuse and recycle Mary House resources to facilitate sharing between mothers. However, Mary House regularly receives clothes donations from a variety of outside sources. 

​We’d like to thank Dress for Success, Women Giving Back, and We Live for their donations to Mary House.