Submitted by the Olympia Farmers Market
The Olympia Farmers Market remains committed to facilitating access to healthy food. In response to COVID-19, we have made changes to the High Season schedule. Our current plan is to stay open every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. through April. The Market will not be open on Thursdays and Fridays until further notice. The Market board and staff will continue to evaluate the situation to determine the schedule going into late spring and summer. The Market will continue to regularly communicate with the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department to maintain the safest environment possible for the community to access healthy food.
“The Olympia Farmers Market is dedicated to ensuring that locally produced goods continue to be accessible during this crisis, “ said Bryce Dazell, Operations Manager at the Market. “Empty shelves in many grocery stores and supermarkets reinforce the importance of having a strong local food economy. Now, more than ever it is crucial to support our farmers and local producers. We look forward to the day when we are on the other side of this crisis and it is once again safe to gather in community to enjoy local music, fine foods, artisanal crafts, and each other’s company,” he said.
In order to keep customers and vendors safe, the Market has implemented some operational changes:
· Monitoring crowd size and enforcing social distancing and measures to avoid crowd gathering.
· Spreading out of vendors to give as much distance as possible between vendors as possible.
· An additional handwashing sink has been made available to customers inside the Market building that has hot and cold running water, soap and paper towels and signage about COVID-19.
· Two hand sanitizing stations have been added with a total of four hand sanitizer dispensers.
· Only “grocery-type” vendors are permitted to sell including the sale of food items, plant starts, fruit trees and flowers. Crafters are not allowed to sell at the Market at this time (except for the sale of soap.)
· Restaurants are only offering take-out food. On-site consumption will not be permitted.
The Market also recommends the following:
· If possible, send just one member of your household to the Market.
· Keep your distance from other shoppers.
· Avoid touching food you do not intend to buy.
· Utilize hand washing and sanitizing stations.
· Avoid lingering. Get your shopping done and return home.
· When you get home, wash your hands and your produce.
Food access for EBT/SNAP shoppers
The Olympia Farmers Market is proud to continue to accept EBT cards and offer a source of nutritious foods to SNAP recipients. Replacing the FRESH BUCKS program, the SNAP Market Match program provides EBT/SNAP shoppers with extra buying power by providing an additional dollar for dollar EBT match of up to $20 per day. SNAP Market Match currency can be used with farmers at the Market to purchase fresh veggies, fruit, herbs and mushrooms plus seeds and plants that produce food.
Schedule and operational measures are subject to change based on recommended COVID-19 guidelines. Please visit the website www.olympiafarmersmarket.com and follow Olympia Farmers Market social media accounts to keep informed.
About the Olympia Farmers Market
In operation since 1975, The Olympia Farmers Market is home to over 100 vendors from the South Puget Sound area. Now open year-round, over 150 days a year, we see approximately 500,000 visitors a year.
We have a dedicated staff and a volunteer Board of Directors who are committed to our mission “to promote and encourage the development of local, small-scale agriculture and ensure a dynamic market balance for small, local growers and others to make available their products to residents of this community.” We are proud to be an active component of the Olympia community for 45 years. Centrally located on the waterfront of downtown Olympia, near the Hands on Children’s Museum and WET Science Center, area residents and visitors can enjoy local farm-fresh produce, artisan foods, wine, plant starts, cut flowers, fresh and cured meats, dairy, fresh baked goods, seafood, jams and preserves, pastries, handcrafted gifts, local arts and more, with restaurants and plenty of covered seating, all set to daily live music.