Supporting local foods systems is so important. Here’s how to do it safely.
Like so many things, shopping for food in the age of COVID-19 doesn’t look like it used to. However, COVID-19 is also reminding us how important it is to support local food systems.
The following suggestions were pulled from the Minnesota Farmers Market Association and local farmers, and we hope they’ll help you navigate local food sourcing for your family and others you care for this growing season.
- Before you go, read your market’s website/Facebook page to see if they have any rules or updates.
- Wear a mask to farmers markets. Might be an obvious one, but it’s still easy to forget!
- See if your farmers market is taking pre-orders, and if it is, use their system! Some vendors at the Saint Paul Farmers Market are accepting pre-orders. You can see who and how to contact them on their website.
- If you’re shopping at a market in person, bring small bills so you can pay in exact change.
- Support BIPOC farmers. To be sustainable, our food system must also be diverse. For centuries, BIPOC farmers have faced barriers to engaging in the local foods systems, resulting in a farming community in Minnesota that is overwhelmingly white. Supporting BIPOC farmers is one small step towards reversing these inequities.
- Don’t be afraid to call, email, or message a farmer on social media to ask if they’re offering online orders, deliveries, or pick-up.
- Be patient. A lot of farmers are learning to navigate online ordering and sales for the first time on top of all their other farm responsibilities. Their goal is still to get delicious, healthy food to your family - it might just take a few extra steps.