We are writing to address the recent concerns that all of us are experiencing regarding the COVID-19 virus and the impact it has on all of our lives.
We agree with Governor Charlie Baker that farmers markets are an essential business and that maintaining and increasing access to local food is critical, especially during unsteady times such as these. We also agree that supporting local, small businesses and farms during difficult times is essential.
Therefore, after much consideration and strategic planning, we have decided to move forward with our plan to open our market on Sunday, May 31, 2020 from 10am-1pm and run every Sunday until Oct 4, 2020.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) has provided all markets with specific requirements for operation during this time. We will be complying with all recommendations and mandates set forth by our state and local governments, and our committee will continue to meet regularly to plan our strategic adherence to these requirements.
We will be implementing the recommendations established by the MDAR, through social distancing and the following measures:
- Increased distance between vendors, allowing for the recommendation of 6 feet between each vendor table.
- All demonstrations and food samples will be eliminated to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
- On-site consumption of prepared foods will not be allowed, following current state guidelines of prepared food for take-out purposes only.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the market, and market staff will be vigilant reminding both customers and vendors to wash hands regularly and between transactions.
- Vendors and staff will be required to wear disposable gloves at all times during the market.
- Market staff, vendors, and employees will not be allowed to bag produce in reusable bags.
- Vendors will be encouraged to use table coverings, such as clear plastic, which are easy to wipe and sanitize often. All will be required to clean any displays at the beginning and end of each market they participate in, in addition to interval cleaning during the market.
You can view the MDAR requirements at this page: https://www.mass.gov/guides/covid-19-resources-for-agriculture#-farmers’-markets-
We are committed to continuing our work under the advisement of our government’s suggestions and requirements, and we look forward to providing our community with a safe space to shop and support local farms, purveyors, and artisans.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us through our website, www.magnoliacommunityfarmersmarket.com, or our email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be well and be safe. We’ll see you in Magnolia!