Farmers Markets Are Essential

March 30, 2020

Farmers markets are an essential service, supporting local farms and providing vital access to fresh, healthy food, especially during the pandemic. Farmers markets provide a safe, outdoor shopping experience and immediate and lasting benefits for our communities. Here are 7 reasons to support farmers markets, now and in the long term.

Farmers markets offer a safer shopping experience. Farmers markets are generally less crowded than grocery stores and are able to quickly respond to safety protocols and community needs, offering handwashing stations, grab-and-go options, curbside pickup, and more.
Farmers markets take place in a spacious, open-air setting that provides ample room for social distancing. The temporary nature of farmers markets also means that food is not left on the shelf for days.
Farmers markets offer shorter supply chains with less food handling. Farmers market food generally travels less than 100 miles from the field to the market, compared to 1,500 miles through conventional distribution channels.
Farmers markets provide access to nutrient-dense foods direct from local farms, including fresh produce and pantry staples. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to keep our immune systems strong when we need it most.
Farmers markets provide vital food access for everyone. Customers using SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) can double their dollars to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at many farmers markets.
Farmers markets support local farmers and small food producers. Investing in local food is critical to community food security, especially in times of international crisis. If we don’t invest in local farms now, we may lose them in the future.
Farmers markets strengthen resilient local food systems, which are more important than ever for community health, the local economy, and the environment—today, and in the recovery ahead.

Stay safe and well while supporting local farms at CUESA’s Farmers Markets:

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market at Embarcadero and Market Street in San Francisco on Saturdays (8 am to 2 pm) and Tuesdays and Thursdays (10 am to 2 pm), year round
Mission Community Market at 22nd and Bartlett Streets in San Francisco on Thursdays (3 to 7 pm), March-November

Double your CalFresh benefits at CUESA farmers markets: CUESA farmers markets accept EBT (CalFresh/food stamps). Customers using EBT can double their dollars (up to $10 per market day) through the Market Match program, which offers free market coins redeemable only for fruits and vegetables. Learn more.

Additional resources: 

CUESA’s Farmers Market Updates and COVID-19 Response  

12 Tips for Shopping at the Farmers Market While Social Distancing
CUESA’s Guide to Farmers Market Food Pickup and Delivery

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