This month marks one year since the opening of My Market. A hub for community, My Market has seen a plethora of volunteers, donors, and clients walk through the doors. Volunteers and clients alike share smiles and stories. Amid the changing seasons, from the calm days of July to the chaos of December, My Market has remained an embodiment of its purpose – fostering choice and agency in our community.
In the first months of My Market operations, client satisfaction increased by 18%, showing the impact of choice. When stepping into My Market, it is easy to notice the changes from previous distributions. We have increased the cultural reach of the foods we have available, remaining mindful of the richly diverse community we serve. The quick turnaround of donated and purchased items has allowed us to serve more produce, equaling 32% of our total food distributed in FY23. Providing easy access to comforting, nutritious food is crucial to uplifting and empowering our community during challenging times.
Extending beyond the distribution of free groceries, My Market is a hub for community and connection. The space often hosts community resources like WIC and healthcare enrollment. People with young children can take donated books from the My Market bookcase filled by Books are Food for Your Brain to take home. Diapers, a costly but important expense, are available through Fairfax Diapers. Providing a safe space for our neighbors to seek resources builds a healthier, happier community.
In 2023, we served 49% more people than our pre-COVID distribution (2019). As we look towards year two with My Market, we’re focused on continuing to meet the need and are excited to continue expanding our operations. Executive Director Deb, shares, “As we look toward the second year of My Market, we are excited about continuously supporting the wellness and dignity of our clients. By creating a welcoming and respectful environment with more fresh produce, culturally appropriate foods, and community resources, our clients leave happier and more comfortable with the shopping experience. Taking what we’ve learned this year, while listening to the input of our partners, clients, and volunteers, allows us to continue building a well-rounded, supportive environment for our community.”
To learn more about ways to get involved in My Market and read about the impact of choice, check out our 2023 FFO Annual Report.