Markets Are Essential During COVID-19
We believe that farmers markets provide vital food access services to our community, and we will continue to do so as safely as possible. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE shoppers to practice social distancing. We also encourage shoppers to prioritize essential food purchasing and do not use the market as a place for social gathering for the time being.
Statements from DC, Maryland, and Virginia governments regarding farmers markets:
- Farmers markets must demonstrate their social distancing protocols and obtain a waiver from the city to operate each week.
- Markets that typically collect food scraps for compost will continue doing so.
- The Maryland Department of Agriculture considers farmers markets an essential business and an important source of nutrition for many Marylanders. Montgomery County has reiterated the state’s directive that farmers markets are essential.
- The department has asked that farmers markets remain open during the current state of emergency.
- Per Governor Northam’s Executive Order Fifty-three, all dining and congregation areas in food establishments, including farmers markets, may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services.
- Farmers markets are not required to close, but will be set up in a manner that does not permit browsing or shopping.
Why Keep Markets Open?
- Farmers Markets Are Essential: Our open-air markets are important and necessary food outlets for community members from all economic backgrounds across the DC metro area to purchase healthy, fresh, nutritious food.
- Farmers Markets Allow You to Shop Direct: Shopping at our markets means that you can purchase fresh, nutritious food from as close to the source as possible.
- Farmers Markets Support Our Region: Farmers markets are essential to the livelihood of farmers and food producers. Shopping at farmers markets means you are supporting your local economy, which is especially critical in this time of uncertainty.
Our primary concern is the health and safety of our farmers and producers, market shoppers, and the community. We are taking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the DC Department of Health as we shape our plan for market operations.
- For information about which markets are currently open, go to Farmers Markets.
- For information on safety protocols in place at the markets, go to FRESHFARM COVID-19 Response.
- For information on pre-order and delivery options, go to Market Shopping Alternatives.
- For information on virtual FoodPrints curriculum, go to FoodPrints Anywhere.
- For information on how the Pop-Up Food Hub is supporting the community, read this blog.
- For information on resources available to farmers and producers, go to Support for Farmers.
- To express your support for farmers markets as a vital service, fill out this letter of support.
- To support FRESHFARM’s COVID-19 response, donate here.