2020-2021 Winter Farmers’ Market Changes

COVID-19 Market Policies

1.) One person per household – We ask that if you are able to only send one person per household to do your shopping. This will enable us to give the maximum amount of people access to local food. We understand if you have a circumstance that does not allow you to come alone so you may come with someone if necessary.

2.) Make a Reservation – Our typical market flow of shoppers is extremely busy during the first hour of market. This year, we’ll be using a free scheduling platform to better spread out customer flow throughout market. To start the season, we’ll have more scheduled slots than walk-in slots, so we strongly recommend making a reservation to guarantee you will be able to enter market when you arrive. Your scheduled time is the time you’re able to enter market. Once you’ve entered, take a reasonable amount of time to complete your shopping so that customers in the next time slot may enter after you.

3.) Pre-ordering – We’re offering markets as a pickup location for vendors who are able to sell their products online. When you buy directly from one or multiple vendors through their online store, products will be organized at market into a convenient pickup bag. You will not have to make a reservation or enter the market area. Pickup will be in a designated area at each venue.

4.) Masks – We will require all customers, vendors, staff, and volunteers to wear a mask at all times. If you are medically not able to wear a mask, consider doing a preorder and pickup. You can also send someone else who is able to wear a mask such as a family member or neighbor.

5.) Layout and vendors – There are fewer vendors this year due to social distancing requirements, which also means market layout is different. There will be a designated entrance and exit at each venue so make sure to look for signage when you arrive.

2020-2021 Winter Farmers’ Market FAQs

Are the markets still happening? We’re planning on having a regular schedule of farmers’ markets as we have in the past. While there are many factors out of our control, we’re working closely with venues and local authorities to be able to have the season happen.

 

Your markets usually draw well over 1,500 people, how will you handle crowd control? We have a number of measures to reduce crowds at market this year. We will be limiting the number of people per household to one (if possible we realize there may be exceptions), encouraging customers to pre-order directly with vendors and pickup orders outside of market at a designated area, and are requiring customers to make a reservation to attend markets.

 

Will the layout of market look different this year? Yes, there are new layouts for both venues which will be centered around one-way foot traffic, vendor tables spaced farther apart, and vendor placement by product category. There will not be any room for visiting nonprofits, musicians, or other market guests.

 

What sort of online or pre-ordering do you offer? We will be posting links to vendors’ (both those that will be at market and those that won’t) online stores on our website and marketing materials. Customers may place and pay for orders online directly with vendors. Vendors will bring pre-orders to market and Seacoast Eat Local will organize the orders and make them available for customer pickup in a designated location. This will enable customers to continue getting products from their favorite vendors without having to enter market. Our primary goal for online ordering will be for our markets to be used as a pickup location and not to replicate any other online ordering service.

 

Is SNAP and Market Match still available? Yes. SNAP customers can also utilize the pre-order option and pay for eligible items with SNAP or Market Match. 

 

What other safety measures will be in place? We will require all customers, vendors, staff, and volunteers to wear masks at all times. Hand sanitizer will be available at multiple locations within market. Many vendors will enhance their displays to reduce the amount of food that is touched. One-way traffic and social distance signs and markers will help customers navigate the market. We will only be allowing a reduced number of people to be shopping in market at one time. We will encourage alternative payment options such as Venmo, PayPal, and Google Pay. 

 

I enjoy having a hot cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich at market. Will that option still be available? There will be no food or beverages made-to-order and no food or beverages may be consumed on-site by customers.

 

Have you considered canceling the season? At this point, we have not seriously considered canceling the season. We’ve surveyed both vendors and customers with an overwhelming majority saying they are still interested in the market happening. With many new sales outlets for local farmers, including online farm stores and delivery options, we still feel like farmers’ markets are a critical part of making local food accessible to everyone.

 

How will you communicate all of these changes to the public? We will create comprehensive and easy to read materials for both customers and vendors. Materials will be continuously sent out on social media and our email list as a reminder on a weekly basis leading up to each market. We will also have simple signage outside of both venues informing customers of the most important changes. Staff and/or volunteers will be present at the market entrance to let people in and ensure customers are informed and are following our guidelines.

 

Any further questions about our Winter Farmers’ Markets can be directed to: [email protected]