Pamplin community market looks to expand

Published 4:03 am Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Earlier this week, we talked about Pamplin’s 150th anniversary and the growth that’s taking place throughout the community. For today’s edition, we’re just focusing on the Pamplin community market, where visitors can buy fresh local produce, baked goods, and pastured chicken. It’s that community market that needs funding.

According to Mary Cush, organizer of the Gofund Me page seeking to raise $10,000  to construct a small 150 sq ft commercial kitchen inside the 450 sq ft market, the organizers came to realize that accessibility is not only having seasonal produce available at an affordable price, but also easing the burden of processing and cooking for the older population. 

“This basic kitchen will enable us to have seasonal cooking demonstrations and classes (garden cooking seems to be a lost art) and offer, pre-cut and prepared vegetables, not only for our population that might have limited physical capabilities in preparing meals, but also for young families with a time crunch,” said Cush

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Cush said the other missing piece of the puzzle is how to stretch the veggie supply throughout the year. 

“A kitchen would enable us to freeze some items during the bountiful summer months to offer in the winter months,” Cush said.  “Since this would be a licensed, commercial kitchen, we could also open the space for use to entrepreneurs who want to create value added products, increasing availability in the winter months and offering an opportunity for Pamplin citizens to increase their farm income.”

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According to Cush, the Pamplin community market building is owned by the non-profit and will be used to benefit the community as long as the building stands. 

“When you donate, you can be assured that all of these funds are reinvested in our community.” Cush said “ We have two matching donors lined up and contributions will be tripled” 

The market operates with an all-volunteer board that is not compensated in any way and whose goal is to build a stronger sense of community in our town through affordable, accessible, nutritious local food. 

The market accepts programs such as SNAP/EBT, Market Fresh Senior program, and Virginia Fresh Match.

According to the USDA and Census data, Pamplin is in a low-income, low-access area populated by a majority of older-aged citizens. 

Food insecure adults and children are at a significantly higher risk for chronic diseases and other negative health outcomes such as obesity. 

“The need was there and we answered the calling,” Cush said. “ We have been able to work with local farmers, paying a fair market price, and connecting them with the consumers. Farmers can drop their produce on a consignment basis, increasing efficiency by not losing valuable time on the farm.”

As of Tuesday, the organization had raised $4,555 of its $10,000 goal

To donate, just click here