As farmers markets begin opening across Minnesota, farmers and market managers are working harder than ever to create access to local foods. Markets have taken several creative and drastic measures this season in the wake of the pandemic because protecting the health and safety of customers and vendors is of the utmost importance.
Following the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's guidance for farmers markets and vendors, many markets around the state have made the following changes to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 including:
- Having all vendors wear masks
- Creating physical barriers to separate staff, vendors, and customers.
- Setting up hand washing stations throughout the market.
- Limiting the number of people allowed to shop at one time.
- Continuing to offer SNAP/EBT sales and the market bucks program.
Additionally, markets have drafted a number of safety guideline for shoppers including:
- Stay home if you are sick or have been in contact with someone who has been sick.
- Shop solo, only send one family member.
- Wear a mask and wash your hands.
- Make a grocery list for a quicker visit.
- Pre-order/pre-pay with vendors.
- Don't touch products. Let vendors grab the items you wish to purchase.
- Limit conversations, don't mingle. Maple Grove Farmers Market's new motto is "Get in. Get your goodies. Get back home."
- Maintain 6 feet social distancing at all times.
While these are general guidelines that our member farmers markets have been taking, each market is making unique adjustments and modifications. Always remember to check the website of your local farmers market often to stay informed about the latest precautions.
Use the Minnesota Grown online directory to find the market closest to you!