While Community First! Village is closed in order to protect our neighborhood during the COVID-19 health crisis, the Community Market remains open and accessible to the men and women who live here. It is important for us to keep the onsite Community Market open because it is the closest and safest place for our neighbors to purchase basic food items and other essential needs.

The Community Market is usually staffed by a dedicated team of recurring volunteers, but due to stay-at-home orders and gathering restrictions, it is currently being staffed by MLF employees and missional neighbors who live on site at the Village.

It is no secret that we miss our volunteers! As a relational ministry, we miss seeing their faces and sharing time with them. One of the things we’ve done in the Market to help make it through this challenging time of social distancing is create a collage of our volunteers’ smiling faces along with personal notes from them so that our neighbors can see some familiar and friendly faces whenever they’re checking out.

From the start of the crisis, we implemented new safety measures to protect our friends living in the Village. New procedures for shopping in the Community Market include:

  • Mandatory hand washing at the hand washing station in front of the market.
  • Mandatory use of hand sanitizer upon entering the market.
  • No more than two shoppers in the market at a time.
  • Must maintain safe social distancing when inside.
  • Must use a basket if shopping for more than one item.
  • When customers are ready to make their purchases, they are asked to place the items on the counter and step back to a safe social distance while their payment transaction is completed.
  • A plexiglass partition has been put in place at the register to help further protect against the potential spread of germs.

We miss our volunteers and can’t wait for the time when we can all be together again. Until then, we will be practicing safe social distancing and creating new ways of “Being Together while Apart.”

You are the goodness that is Mobile Loaves & Fishes!