Oh, yeah, the Adelante Mujeres blog!

Blog by Gina…
So you are wondering-where have you been? Is this blog doomed to social media oblivion? No, no and emphatically no! We have had a few bumps in the road but Adelante Mujeres is back, from travels, illnesses, injury and serious lack of time, to update our blog much more frequently. This is my promise, to each and every reader. All six of you!
The last time I posted was in June. In July, I fell in love. That is my only excuse and I’m sorry that my bloggy time was spent making googly eyes at a man. In August, I was mauled by a dog while visiting a farm. He took a few chunks out of my leg and after lots of stitches, crutches, infections and MONTHS of resting, I am still not yet fully healed. But I am close. This concludes the excuses portion of our blog. Please read on…
Being that it has been such a long time I thought I would update you about what has happened. This is a long one, so pop some popcorn and get cozy.

The Forest Grove Farmers Market celebrated the autumn harvest and our last market day on October 14, 2009. It was a great season and I was sad to see it go. Having missed several weeks because of the dog bite I felt that the Market should still be going on. The staff who filled in (and did a wonderful job at that) may feel differently.
Top Successes of the 2009 Season:
--Secured two significant grants to help fund the Forest Grove Farmers Market (and other Adelante Mujeres projects). The grants allow us to increase outreach to new customers-especially low-income shoppers!
--Vendors donated over 1735 pounds of food (much needed fresh fruits and veggies as well as gluten-free goods, meat, and other treats) to the St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank of Forest Grove during the 2009 season!
--$11,297 worth of tokens were used to purchase goods at FGFM during 2009 as well as an additional $1,450 in matched EBT tokens were spent!
--We greatly increased the number of EBT shoppers/EBT dollars spent at the FGFM-In 2009, we had 117 shoppers using SNAP dollars, spending $6,343 (a 422.5% increase from 2008 which accounts for almost ½ of all token sales)!
--Our “Shopping on a Budget” class series as well as “Cooking on a Budget” demonstrations were very popular. The classes and demonstrations helped the low-income community, market shoppers in general, as well as added to vendor sales by encouraging shoppers to purchase and cook with locally produced goods!
Now we are busy working with a committee of vendors, planning the 2010 season and everyone is very excited about it. There have been some rumblings about the Forest Grove Farmers Market moving off of Main Street. For the record, we are working with the City and downtown merchants to renew our mutually beneficial contract and I’ll keep you posted.

In October, Adelante Mujeres was named one of Oregon Business Journal’s Top 100 Non Profits to Work For! (See our blog post from June 16, 2009.) We ranked fifth in the small non profit category and scored 7th overall out of 100! Over 200 non-profits participated and we are very honored to be among the top 10! You can see the entire article here.

On November 1st we celebrated our annual Día de los Muertos Celebration. Day of the Dead started as a small celebration within Adelante Mujeres as a way for the Adult Education students (mothers) to share with their children a little bit of their culture. Soon volunteers and other community members wanted to come and it has morphed into a huge gathering of the Forest Grove community. It was held at Pacific University and we served delicious tamale dinner, the women made altars honoring famous Latinas and Mexico en la Piel dance troupe kept us entertained. It was a fun night and we look forward to next year! Pictures are coming soon.

That's all I've got in me for right now. But welcome back to all of our readers! Thank you for your continued support!