Alexandria, VA – Shlagel Farms, a longtime vendor at the Del Ray Farmers’ Market, celebrated the Giving Season last week by offering customers a Giving Box. Chock full of fresh produce, each box cost $50, of which the farm donated $10 to local nonprofit ALIVE! Additionally, Russell and Eileen Shlagel matched each donation with an additional $10. With more than 50 boxes sold, the donation for ALIVE! topped $1,000.
Executive Director Jennifer Ayers was thrilled to receive the Shlagel Farms donation for ALIVE! “We really appreciate the support as a community partner to provide healthy food to people in need,” Ayers said.
Luke Shlagel explained, “We brainstormed as a family, wondering how we could give back to the families who have been there for us.” The bountiful Giving Box fit the bill. “It’s a thank you to the communities who stuck with us through the pandemic.” In addition to Del Ray and ALIVE, the Shlagels donated monies to nonprofits in three other market areas in the region.
Customers were only too happy to lend their support. Roberta Finkelstein has been shopping at Shlagels regularly all season. “They were the first to innovate the pre-order where you can pay in advance and just pick up at the market,” she said, “so you’re in and out very quickly. Their produce is always nice.”
Russell Shlagel said, “We have been sincerely touched this past year with the support and trust our customers have placed in us. COVID required us to make some changes and our oldest son, Karl, designed the online store concept. It seemed crazy at first. Farmers selling fresh produce online? Who would have thought? Our customers got behind it immediately in four different neighborhoods: Del Ray, Cheverly, Greenbelt, and Waldorf. As a thank you for their tremendous support for this new concept, we decided to give them a big thank you during this special season of giving.”
When the Shlagels chose ALIVE! for the Del Ray market, they wanted to make sure the money raised was earmarked specifically to feed hungry people. “It’s important to us that we make a difference in the food insecurity faced by so many. We personally believe that no child in this rich country of ours should go to bed hungry. We all have to do our part,” Russell said.
This Saturday, December 19, is the last market of the year for the Shlagels. They are offering a special $30 Secret Santa CSA Box, along with other specialties for the season. Follow them on Facebook for all their news and updates. The deadline for meat orders is midnight, Thursday, December 17.
Reflecting on the Giving Box program and donations, and looking to the future, Russell said, “We were overwhelmed by the response last weekend. It is a true joy to be able to partner with organizations like ALIVE! and work in communities like Del Ray. As we move into the new year, we will continue to look for ways to support the underserved and marginalized in our communities.”
If you’re feeling the mood of the Giving Season and you’d like to make a difference in someone’s life, consider making a donation to ALIVE! and contribute to their amazing programs. Visit their website: https://www.alive-inc.org/