NewsLocal NewsKent


Farmers' Markets prepare to open for season despite COVID-19

Posted at 3:26 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 17:29:56-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Fulton Street Farmers' Market is preparing to open for their main season Saturday.

“Food is such an essential thing right now. We’re able to offer some of the freshest and most local products there are,” Executive Director Rori Jean Trench said.

They're doing so with extra caution. If you want to enter, you'll have to wait in line. The maximum amount of people they're letting in at a time is 66. Vendors will wear masks. It's recommended customers do so as well.

“Supporting our local economy, putting…voting with your dollar really. All these farmers are really in desperate need of their support,” Trench said.

There's also an expansion to the "Double Up Food Bucks" program. Previously, people could use up to $20 off of their Bridge Card, matched at the market for a total of $40 in spending.

That limit has been lifted.

“So if someones looking to take 100 dollars off we can match that 100 dollars, so they walk away with 200 dollars worth of product that can be spent on local produce, and other food products here at the market,” Trench said.

Muskegon Farmers' Market will also open up Satuday. They too are taking extra precautions.

"We're not going to have any entertainment," Muskegon City Clerk Ann Meisch said. "Normally it’s one of the things that we're most excited about, is offering that entertainment, but this year we will not. There won't be any picnic tables to sit on and to congregate and hang out. This is really meant to be to come shop and get the items that you need and to leave."

They're limiting the number of people allowed down each aisle.

“So this year we are going to have lines to get in," Meisch said. "We are going to be counting how many people can go into an aisle way. We're also going to have one-way traffic so the aisles will be divided into two. And so you'll be allowed to walk down one side of the aisle. And then you come around and you come around the other side. Then you can walk over to the other aisle and get in line again and do the same thing again."

Either way, Farmers' market season is still happening, despite COVID-19. Directors ask people coming to the market to be extra patient.