After months of planning and preparation we’re excited to share that the Marketplace at CUMAC is officially open! This is a major change for CUMAC as we have transitioned from a traditional food pantry that distributes pre-packed food bags into a health-focused, choice pantry model. As you can see, our space now resembles a grocery store with aisles full of nutritious foods, including fresh produce, lean meat and other proteins, whole grains and legumes, to name a few. With this new model in place, our clients can now “shop” for foods that meet their unique needs, instead of receiving bags that may include items they already have at home or cannot use. In turn, clients can make the most of the food they receive, and when living on a tight budget, that choice can make all the difference.
Along with providing higher quality, healthier foods and offering our clients more choices, our marketplace is committed to offering a bright, beautiful and welcoming space that clients are proud to visit. Our space now has a waiting room with a TV and water station. This is a huge relief for our clients because it minimizes the amount of time they need to spend outside on days with inclement weather. For those with limited mobility or small children, the waiting room also provides a comfortable space to rest as much as needed. As we share this update, temperatures are in the mid-80s and our water station is already being put to good use by a mother of two!
Our Marketplace is also making our services more accessible for our community. As of this month, CUMAC has expanded its weekly service hours.
Mondays and Thursdays: 11am-3pm, Tuesdays: 9am–12pm, 1pm–3pm,
Wednesdays: 11am–3pm, 4:30pm-6pm, Fridays: 9am-12pm, 4th Saturday of month: 10am–12:30pm
Our team is particularly excited about this change because it makes it easier for clients to get the help they need. Clients are now able to visit CUMAC during the evening and even on the weekend. These options help ensure that none among us go hungry, even if they’re working or going to school during the day.
Perhaps the most exciting part of our Marketplace is that it provides our team with space to collaborate. With the help of our community partners, CUMAC is addressing health disparities by providing our neighbors with access to supportive services on a regular basis. For example, as clients wait for their groceries in the Marketplace they can learn about nutrition, speak to a legal professional, get a free health screening or tips on cooking. This level of support can be a game-changer for our clients as they work to overcome the health conditions that are associated with hunger, and it provides CUMAC with a unique opportunity to improve the well-being of our community.
With more space, new offerings, and many exciting partnerships, the possibilities for the Marketplace are endless. Thank you for being a part of it. Together we’re feeding people & changing lives!