Farmers Market Health and Safety for Vendors, Customers, and Volunteers
Updated Wednesday, July 2, 2020:
The Missouri Department of Agriculture determined that, along with grocery stores, farmers markets may continue to operate and are an Essential Business. Additionally, the US Department of Homeland Security provides a list of exempt, essential industries, which include food and agriculture. Farmers markets are included in this list as essential retail outlets for food purchase.
We cannot express enough our gratitude to our local, state and federal officials in recognizing that farmers markets are an essential food resource for our communities. Now more than ever, we see the importance of our local food systems through the work our farmers are doing to keep us nourished and healthy. It is critical that our food supply chain maintain – and even be prepared to expand – operations throughout this pandemic.
We believe that the DeSoto Farmers’ Market is an essential food resource and plays an integral part in our local food system and economy. Many of the precautions recommended by the CDC to reduce transmission of COVID-19 are things our vendors already know. Safe food handling is an important practice required by all vendors. Things like staying home when you’re sick, rigorous hand washing, proper cough covering, etc. are all things our expert vendors have practiced until they are second nature. All vendors are required to abide by all food safety laws and regulations. Our vendors are taking extreme food safety precautions, and the market will have increased sanitation stations at the market.
The DeSoto Farmers’ Market plans to open to the public in a regulated fashion, but we also understand individuals may not feel comfortable attending. We are working to offer Curbside Pickup during the market for pre-orders!
This resource will continue to develop as more vendors create new online systems and payment options. Orders will need to take place in advance of the market. Online payment options should be done in advance as well when available.
Many of our vendors are adapting how they get food to you and are creating different systems to do so! Please be patient as we try to help them get new systems put in place!
Customer Safety Guidelines
In addition to vendors following increased food safety guidelines we are taking the additional steps to ensure a safe environment at the DeSoto Farmers’ Market:
- No foods or drink will be allowed to be prepared on-site and sold. Vendors will still be allowed to sell prepackaged food items.
- All non-essential activities will be phased in slowly. POP Club and live music resumed June 6th.
- Public seating areas will not be available.
- Vendors will have spaces between booths.
- We will limit the number of customers in the market at one time. Please be prepared to briefly wait in line to enter the market.
We encourage our customers to take these simple steps to help keep your family safe:
- Farmers markets are all about interacting and visiting with your community, but first and foremost we are a food resource. To that end, please limit your human interactions to a wave.
- Please try to make your visit as short as possible, to allow for more customers to come into the market, and keep the human contact low. To put it bluntly, get in and get out.
- Put together a shopping list to shorten your visit at the market.
- Please practice social distancing by keeping a distance of 6+ feet from other customers and vendors.
- While we have been deemed an essential service, we will be monitoring crowds. At some times, we may be asking people to wait to enter the market.
- All customers will be required to enter through one location. If you are handicap, we will make exceptions.
- Do not pick up and touch items. Vendors will pick up and bag items for you.
- Wash all produce thoroughly before using it.
- We will encourage vendors to use contactless credit card options. Many vendors are still in the process of getting systems set up.
- Upon entering the pavilion, we would like customers to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds thoroughly and/or utilize the hand sanitizer provided
- If you are sick, please stay home and ask a friend or family member to pick things up for you at the market instead.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If you need to sneeze or cough, sneeze or cough into a tissue or into the crease of your elbow.
- We would like all vendors and customers to wear masks, per the recommendation of the CDC.
We are monitoring this and are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all shoppers. We encourage you to visit the CDC website for updated information and safety precaution tips at cdc.gov.
This page will be updated with information as this situation continues to develop. Thank you for your continued support and understanding!
-DeSoto Farmers’ Market Staff, Steering Committee, and Get Healthy DeSoto Board of Directors