The Community Market sees 300% increase in visitors during COVID-19; invites community to contribute via donation
Visits to The Community Market, formerly known as the Eagle River Valley Food Bank, have increased by 300% since the dawn of COVID-19 in Eagle County. Since the local mountains shut down, Vail and Beaver Creek have been donating surplus food to The Community Market since March 15, which has helped. The Community Market, before the crisis, rescued most of its food wholesale — however those resources are dwindling, and it’s only a matter of time before Vail and Beaver Creek are out of resources to donate.
While the market is always grateful for food drives, one of the most beneficial ways to help the market’s mission — providing healthy food access in a sustainable and non-invasive way — is to donate cash, which can be done here. Because of its nonprofit status and connections, the market pays less than retail price when buying food, particularly for fresh produce.
“The highest demand is for fresh food, because those things can be prohibitively expensive, as compared to food with preservatives or canned food. When people donate funds, we’re able to directly respond to what our customers want and need,” Rita Mary Hennigan told the Vail Daily earlier this month. Hennigan is the market’s partner relations coordinator.
“We have really great buying power and the ability to stretch our dollar much further than you would at the grocery store,” Food Systems Organizer Kelly Liken said.
Overall, the market’s mission remains the same, regardless of how stressful the current situation can be for families with reduced or extinguished income flow.
“This is about lifting people up and creating equality in the food system. We believe that healthy food access is a human right,” Liken said to the Vail Daily in August.
The Community Market by the numbers
Here are some statistics about operations at the Community Market and food insecurity in Eagle County.
The percent county population that is food insecure, according to the market’s research.
The percent of food insecure households that the Community Market aims to serve.
The average number of people the Community Market serves per week, prior to COVID-19.
The Community Market is now serving more than 2,000 people each week during the pandemic, Liken said.
The percent of fresh produce the market stocks on any given day.
The percent of fresh produce the market hopes to stock in the future on any given day.
The price per pound the Community Market pays to purchase produce from local grocery stores. Because of its non-profit status and connections, the market pays less than retail value to buy these items.
The donation amount that feeds a whole family fresh produce for a week, based on the average family needing 10 pounds of food per week.
How to make cash donations
In person. The market accepts cash donations at its main warehouse and at its mobile locations.
Online. At the top of eaglevalleycf.org, click the green “Donate” button and follow the prompts. Note that there is no direct option to donate to the Community Market, but that’s where funds will go because the foundation’s other programs are already fully funded, Liken said in August.
By check. On the eaglevalleycf.org donation page, scroll past the prompts to find the foundation’s mailing address to send checks.
Where to shop
Due to the coronavirus, the market is using a drive-thru model with pre-packaged boxes instead of its normal choice shopping. It asks that only one member of each party approach the drop site when prompted, and to contact the market if they’re sick. Someone will be able to make arrangements.
Main location: Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 760 Lindbergh Dr., Unit #7 in Gypsum.
Eagle: Monday, United Methodist Church, basement room, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Edwards: Tuesday, Interfaith Chapel, lobby, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Avon: Wednesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. First week of the month at: Aspens Mobile Home Village, office. Second week of the month at: Eaglebend Apartments. Third and fourth week of the month at: Riverview Apartments, community room.
Gypsum: Thursday, Two Rivers, community center, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
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