December Impact & January News

January 4th, 2024

Happy 2024, Friends of Community Markets Inc.!

As we welcome the new year, the staff and board of CMI express our gratitude to each of you for a wonderful and impactful 2023 and look ahead to 2024 with hopeful anticipation. CMI ended last year by releasing its first Impact Report. This email is the first monthly email which highlights CMI’s impact and notable items from the previous month and looks at what’s ahead in the coming weeks. Your feedback is valuable – so let us know what you think!

As you read December’s highlights and especially the impact of the Feliz Navidad Fest, take notice that your support for CMI doesn’t simply make local food more accessible and increase food security in WV, but it has health and wellness implications for real families in our community and economic benefits to local farmers and family businesses leading to people living happier and more fulfilling lives and wealth being built in our community – and this is only the beginning!

CMI is poised to expand its ability to serve our community in 2024, especially our most vulnerable families. So I ask you, friend: What will you do to increase food security and local food access in your community in 2024? Join us! Donate monthly or once. Volunteer. Forward this email to a friend. Host/organize a fundraiser to help CMI buy a larger refrigerated trailer. Like CMI on Facebook. What can you do? Do something, however small, for if we can’t feed the whole world, at least feed one person. One person is significant. You may be surprised to find out that that one person is your neighbor.

With gratitude,

– Mark Peiffer | Director

December 2023 Highlights

– The Community Markets Inc. 2023 Impact Report was published days before Christmas, summarizing CMI’s first two and a half years or so of existence. Please take a few minutes to review it. It can be read and downloaded HERE.

– Our refrigerated trailer received a makeover with the help of Vital Signs Plus (pictures HERE). We’re very pleased with the professional and efficient job done by the Vital Signs team and grateful for UniCare’s partnership which made this possible!

– CMI partnered with the Jefferson County Health Department, Corner Connection, and other community organizations to put on the first ever Feliz Navidad Fest108 Christmas Dinners were distributed to Hispanic families,feeding over 275 people, 112 of which were children2,600 lbs. of healthy food was distributed from local farms along with a few hundred lbs. of shelf-stable pantry staples and over $3,850 was paid to local farmers. Also, 12 Volunteers put in 35 hours to make the event possible. We love our volunteers! Thank you! You can read The Journal’s coverage of the event HERE.

– The GIANT Company made a $5,000 donation to CMI to help feed families with nutritious food this winter. The money will be invested back into the local Martin’s Grocery Store in Charles Town, WV and the food be distributed to needy families at upcoming Food Box Giveaways. Thank you GIANT/Martin’s for your partnership! Read GIANT’s press release HERE.

Community Markets Inc. is grateful for GIANT/Martin’s and all our community partners!

– The Saint Isidore Market closed out the year with a special Christmas Market which saw the highest number of preorders and overall sales than any other Market all year! The community response was tremendous! There were 124 Preorders placed online at the Saint Isidore Market Website in December, $5,661.22 paid to Local Farmers and Producers, and $1,706.51 paid to Cottage Industry Vendors, Artisans, and Upstart Family Businesses. This is money going right to farmers and families living in our community so they can put their kids through college, pay off their mortgage, and invest in their retirement. This money stays local, helping create community wealth and better West Virginian communities, not national or international corporate agendas that don’t care for our community like we do. Neighbors buying from neighbors – this is how we can better our families’ and community’s future!

– Thank you to those who made year end donations to feed more families! You know who you are. Your generosity is much appreciated! Forgot to make your year end donation? Make Your Gift Now.

Bags of local milk, eggs, lettuce, butter, cheese, eggnog and other farm fresh foods await distribution to Appalachian families at CMI’s Food Box Giveaway during Feliz Navidad Fest in Charles Town, WV this past December.

Upcoming Events and Notable Items

– CMI’s next Food Box Giveaway is on Saturday, January 13th from 8-1:30 pm (while supplies last) at St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town, WV. It will happen in concurrence with St. James’ annual St. Martin of Tours Clothing Giveaway. The first 200 families will receive a box of farm fresh food sourced from local farms. Volunteers and Food Donations are needed! More info and the event flyer is HERE.

– The Saint Isidore Market will open for the winter season in the library of St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town starting Thursday, January 11th from 5-6:30 pmOnline Ordering will begin HERE Tomorrow, Friday, January 5th at 9 am through Tuesday, January 9th at noon for pickup at the Market on the 11th. Shop local and affordable this winter with prices comparable or better than the grocery store yet higher quality food.

– CMI and Saint Isidore Market bumper stickers and magnets are now available by donation. Contact me if you’re interested in showing your CMI support!

– Be on the lookout later this month for announcements and new resources from Community Markets Inc. It’s going to be a great 2024!

For those who have read this far with any level of attention, I appreciate you! Now I renew my question: What will YOU do to increase food security and local food access in your community in 2024? What you do or don’t do makes a difference. Don’t let inaction be your response. Take action now to help our community today and better our future!