A Letter to our Community

Dear Market Community Members,

As a community farmers’ market, we feel we have an important role in continuing to bring fresh, local foods to our customers for as long as possible during this difficult period. Local farmers and food systems are critical to our local economy, and, along with farmers markets, are defined as “essential businesses” by the State of New York. Therefore, we will be open this Saturday and will continue to review the situation weekly. 

While many of you have enjoyed the market as a place to socialize, many community members have come to rely upon the market for daily groceries.  With local stores recently out of essential meats, dairy and produce, we feel it’s become increasingly important to maintain the market as a grocery outlet for community members that have come to depend upon it. 

Everyone’s safety is paramount, so we are implementing the following social distancing and hygiene measures. We cannot stress enough how important it is to follow these guidelines, in order to ensure their effectiveness:

-Please, please stay home if you are sick. 
-In order to keep crowds to a minimum, please send only one person from your household to shop.
-Our main aim is to keep people moving quickly, so we ask that you leave the market as soon as you’ve made your purchase.
-Whenever possible, please contact the vendor directly ahead of time with pre-orders and pre-payment. That way, your items will already be packaged and waiting for you at the market, avoiding further handling of products and money. 
-Please refrain from touching others and ensure that at least 6 feet is between you and the next person. If you can both reach out and touch each other’s hands, then you’re too close.
-You will notice we have created extra spacing between the vendor booths in order to reduce crowding.
-Only producers and their staff may handle products. Customers may not touch any produce or products until after they have purchased.
-The bathrooms near the market office will be fully stocked with soap and made available for handwashing.  Door handles and surfaces will be sanitized several times an hour.  
-Prepared food vendors will be limited.  Those that do attend will be providing food for take-out or curbside pick up only, and will not provide utensils.  We ask that no customers eat on the premises. There will be no sampling of products.
-The market office will be closed to customers. We will not be offering EBT tokens.

In addition to these steps, we will be continuing with best practices which were implemented by vendors last weekend: using clean gloves and changing frequently throughout the day, sanitizing surfaces often, separating cash handling and product bagging if possible, and more. 

If you are unable to attend the market, but still wishing to access local foods, please see the newly developed directory of farms that are willing to deliver to Tompkins County and/or have a farm stand. 

Be well & thank you for your support as we navigate this crisis as a community,

Becca Rimmel, Executive Director

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