CCFM kicks off summer season with new safety provisions
With a new, more expansive location, the Capital City Farmers Market reopens for the season Saturday, May 2, 10 am–1 pm, across from the new Transit Center on Taylor Street. But due to continuing concerns about community vulnerability to COVID-19, market manager Keri Ryan announced new protocols for vendors and customers.
As is the case with many area groceries and markets, the 10 am opening will feature a senior line, giving senior, high-risk shoppers priority access to the market. Curbside pickup and home delivery options will be available to those who preorder, Ryan said.
Vendors will set up full displays, but there will be no person-to-person contact. Approximately 25 of the regular summer vendors are expected for the opening weekend and as many as 10 additional vendors at future markets. “We’ll have a controlled entry/exit with only ten shoppers at a time following a one-way path through the market,” Ryan explained.
What Customers Should Expect
Each vendor will have a display table and a second, empty table (with wipes and a payment box) set six feet from the display. Another six feet from that table will be a line marked on the ground where customers must wait while placing their order.
Customers will not be allowed to touch anything on the vendor display tables. The vendor will assemble each order, place it on the empty table for the customer to approach, collect their items, and leave payment. This table will be disinfected after each transaction.
John Snell, who administers the Friends of the Capital City Farmers Market Facebook page, is looking for volunteers to help with the customer flow at the market. “I’m looking for four to six folks who would be willing to volunteer to help at the market with various, simple tasks like guiding people, helping keep things safely distanced, etc. If you would be interested, let me know when you could help. Two-hour stints would simplify things,” he wrote in a post on Monday. (email@example.com)
Farmers Ray Shatney and Janet Steward of Greenfield Highland Beef expressed gratitude to the AOA and VAAFM for the agencies’ “willingness to be responsive to farmers and community members about the critical importance of safely getting healthy, local foods to consumers, who are looking for alternatives to having to go inside stores to feed their families.”
“We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from our community and neighbors,
and are thrilled to be able to continue offering this crucial piece of the local food supply chain,” Ryan said. “We will all miss the social markets of the past, but what’s important now is that people have access to healthy food and local products.”
- Vendor booths will be spaced 12 feet apart.
- EBT/SNAP transactions will be available.
- Vendors have been encouraged to set up a system for processing credit cards.
- A hand-washing station will be available at the entry/exit, All are welcome to use it.
- There will be no music, activities, events, etc., until further notice.
- No dogs are allowed in the market.
To set up at the market, vendors are required to have:
- Clear signage with the farm/business name
- A menu board for any items available, legible from six feet away
- A box to collect payments
- Sanitizer/disinfectant wipes
- Two disinfected tables (two tents in case of rain)
- Masks and gloves, which MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES
- Produce must be bagged as much as possible
- Prepared food must be pre-packaged