March 8th, 2024

March News: 3 Yrs & Unity Campaign!

Greetings, Friends of Community Markets Inc.!

March is an exciting month for Community Markets Inc. because we turn 3 years old as of March 1st and CMI is part of the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle’s Unity Campaign for the first time this year! Donating to CMI through the Unity Campaign to help us buy a larger refrigerated trailer means that your donation is partially matched by United Way and 100% of your donation is passed on to CMI! Help CMI celebrate our 3 year birthday and make your money have a greater impact on underserved Appalachian families and local farmers by donating now through March 15th HEREThank you for your generosity!

In Partnership,

Mark Peiffer, RPO | Director

February 2024 Highlights

At a Glance:

– In just 18 months, 69,350 lbs. of healthy farm-fresh food has fed around 6,000 underserved Appalachian people in 10 counties in West Virginia.

– As of February 2024, all CMI programs have generated over $96,100 for local farmers and family businesses$13,000 was generated in February 2024 alone!

– CMI held a Food Box Giveaway at the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department in Martinsburg in February which fed 150 families with 2,600 lbs. of local food, impacting nearly 400 people, 118 of which were children15 volunteers served 47 hrs to make the Giveaway possible! 250 families could have easily been served as CMI ran out of food at least 45 minutes before the distribution was set to end! The need for access to healthy food grown by West Virginian farmers is very evident! Job Corps in Harpers Ferry sent six volunteers to help for the day and Cedar Ridge Hydroponics lent their refrigerated van to provide additional refrigerated space to keep all the perishable food fresh. Bushel & Peck grocery store donated 200 lbs. of carrots which were distributed out to families in need. CMI is very grateful for the Sheriff’s Departmentand all the volunteers and organizations that pitched in to make the day successful!

Families line up in cars to receive healthy & local food (left back); CMI loves its volunteers and partners! (middle); thousands of lbs. of food await distribution in Martinsburg through the CMI Food Box Giveaway Program (right). Photo credit: ReEnna Truman of Unicare.

– The St. Isidore Market saw steady sales in the past month, with 157 Online Preorders$6,857 paid to Local Farmers & Producers, and $1,774 paid to Cottage Industry Vendors, Artisans, & Upstart Family Businesses. Our small and dedicated crew of volunteers logged over 27 hours to make the mobile Market successful! The St. Isidore Market is open weekly! Shop over 200 local foods and products from local farms and businesses with pick up every Thursday in Charles Town, WV! Shop Locally & Affordably.

– CMI Director Mark Peiffer traveled to Charleston recently for the 2024 WVU Extension Small Farm Conference. This annual WV local agriculture “family reunion” is always a great time of camaraderie and learning. Many friends were reconnected with and many new friends made!

CMI Director Mark Peiffer caught up with many old friends at Small Farm Conference including Miss West Virginia 2022 Elizabeth Lynch.

Upcoming and Notables

– CMI is part of this year’s Unity CampaignDonate to CMI now through March 15th through the Campaign and your donation will be partially matched by United Way of the Eastern Panhandle! 100% of all donations come back to CMI to help us purchase a larger refrigerated trailer. Now is the time to donate! Make your money go further towards feeding hungry families and supporting our local farmers! Donate Here. Thank you for your generosity!

Text UNITY2189 to 71777 to donate to CMI or donate online HERE.

– The next Food Box Giveaway will be later this month in partnership with St. James Catholic Church. 250 Easter Dinners featuring healthy and locally sourced food will be delivered to 250 needy families who have already signed up. April’s Giveaway is being scheduled as well as the rest of the 2nd quarter. Stay tuned via email and on CMI’s Facebook Page for details.

Keep in touch with Community Markets Inc. via email and on Facebook for the latest updates and news! Thank you to our partners, donors, and volunteers who continue to make an impact in our community! Want to help? Join the local food movement and Get Involved today!

Donate Now! Feed Hungry Families & Support Local Farmers!

The Community Markets Inc. team invites you to join the Unity Campaign! (L to R): CMI Director Mark Peiffer, AmeriCorps VISTA Member Ellie George, & AmeriCorps VISTA Member Brett Hozdic.