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Farmers Markets & COVID-19

After a hiatus, some Salt Lake City farmers markets are coming back this weekend. With COVID-19 protocols in place to keep everyone safe, the markets are ready to bring you fresh, local food.

Getting locally grown food can be a challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened all aspects of the food system, from the health of agricultural workers to food security and economic stability. Farmers are at risk of both losing their economic safety as well as getting physically ill.

Along with joining a CSA, farmers markets are one of the most direct ways to get locally grown produce and support the local economy. Luckily, the Wheeler Farm Market, Liberty Park Farmers Market, and the Downtown Farmers Market are set to open this weekend – with a few changes to help keep everyone safe!

Photograph of produce growing in rows at local farm in Utah.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Even in our grocery stores we are practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and trying our best to take precautions in response to COVID-19. The local farmers markets are no different.

The local farmers markets will have various protocols in place to protect vendors and market customers. The markets will provide directions for one-way travel paths within the market and will support social distancing measures and hand sanitizing. Additionally, the Downtown Farmers Market has moved its craft sellers online for the time being. The market’s safety measures include required masks and encouraging frequent hand sanitation by shoppers and vendors.

Graphic of blue face mask on teal background.

The Downtown Farmers Market is allowing only one shopper per household, and asks that market goers remember these guidelines:

  • Only attend the market if you are feeling well!
  • Plan in advance what you need to make shopping more efficient.
  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing
  • Face masks are required
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently
  • Use a credit card, debit card, cashless app or exact change when possible.
  • Follow the posted arrows to maintain one-way traffic flow.
  • Produce and goods will be handled by the vendors who will also sanitize their booths according to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s guidelines.

In years past, shoppers were encouraged to gather and bring pets. This year, the market asks that there is no gathering, and that pets (with the exception of service animals) stay at home.

You can still bring your own reusable bags! And SNAP Exchange and Double Up Food Bucks will still be available.

You can find all of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Guidelines for Farmers Markets here.

Support the Local Food System

Farmers markets are an important part of the local food system. In recent months, COVID-19 has threatened the financial security of many farmers. In Utah, only about 2-3% of the produce we eat is grown locally. The local food system is fragile and needs our support.

The return of our local farmers markets may look different due to COVID-19, but they play an important role in supporting our local food hub. Farmers markets help bring healthy local food to our communities, reduce food waste, and build our local economy. Moreover, with the Farmers Markets participating in SNAP and the Double Up Food Bucks program, they are a step towards building a more equitable food system in Salt Lake City.

Photo of Downtown Farmers Market truck with boxed veggies in foreground.

COVID-19 Food Access Resources

A 2017 fact sheet compiled by Utahns Against Hunger shows that one in eight Utah households is food insecure. The COVID-19 pandemic has made food insecurity even more severe within our communities.

If you need help securing access to food during the pandemic visit SLCgreen’s COVID-19 Food Access Resources page.

Visit the markets this weekend!

  • Liberty Park Farmers Market: Friday, June 12, 4 pm – dusk
  • Downtown Farmers Market: Saturday, June 13, 8 am – 1 pm
  • Wheeler Farm Market: Sunday, June 14, 9 am – 2 pm

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