Community Marketplaces are monthly farmers’ market-inspired food distributions, located in high-density areas with high rates of food insecurity. The CAFB offers fresh, seasonal produce at no cost; health, housing, and other service providers are on site as resources for our clients, and cooking demonstrations offer inspiration for health.
The goal of the Community Marketplace program is to help alleviate hunger throughout the CAFB service area through the provision of fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and other items to communities in need. These products are intended for people that are at risk of hunger; however, what makes this program unique is that there are no restrictions; the food is distributed to everyone that wants to participate. The low-barrier nature of the program makes it an accessible safety net for those experiencing food insecurity who do not qualify for other food assistance programs for any variety of reasons.
CAFB operates a Community Marketplace in DC, Maryland and Virginia once a month per region. Food items are delivered by CAFB to the site. CAFB staff along with volunteers facilitate a farmer’s market style food distribution where recipients can get quality food at no cost. Community Marketplaces emphasize customer service and accessibility to ensure that each recipient will receive their food with dignity, just as if they were walking into a grocery store and buying it. There are also other service providers present to give food recipients the opportunity to learn about other needed services in their community.
Looking To Become A Partner?
Because the Community Marketplace program is operated by CAFB staff, there is no traditional role for partners. Other agencies can become involved with the program in two ways: By signing up to volunteer at a Community Marketplace through the volunteer portal or by participating as a Community Resource by contacting the Community Marketplace Program Coordinator. As a Community Resource, the agency would be able to share other services with the recipients in addition to receiving fresh produce. Some examples of Community Resources services are: health screenings, pet food and supplies distribution, sharing nutritional information, providing cooking demonstrations or snacks for kids.
Looking To Become A Participant?
Come to the Community Marketplace in your areas around 9 a.m. on the day of the distribution with a container to hold your food goods in. We suggest a reusable shopping bag or a rolling cart. Come to the registration desk and fill out the registration form. It asks for contact information, household information and a few other details. Once that is finished, you will be given a key card, just like the ones you get at a grocery store. Keep this key card and bring it to every Community Marketplace that you attend to enter the marketplace.
Come volunteer at a Community Marketplace! We’re always looking for volunteers to help set up and breakdown tables and tents, operate produce stands, and staff cooking tents.