KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — New Harvest Farmers’ Market will open Thursday afternoon for the 2020 season with a series of new social distancing guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Farmers Market operator Nourish Knoxville said it will accommodate vendors coming early to set up, place booths further apart and disallow vendors or customers who appear to be sick to attend.
Only food, farm and hygiene vendors will be present until COVID-19 protocols change. Noncontact payment, like PayPal and Venmo, will also be encouraged for purchases.
“This is an unprecedented time for us all,” Ellie Moore, markets manager with Nourish Knoxville, said. “As we navigate the COVID-19 crisis, Nourish Knoxville feels strongly that the New Harvest Farmers’ Market serves as a vital food access point for our community and is essential in bolstering our local food system and ensuring the viability of small, local food businesses.
“We have reinforced relationships with key community partners and are confident the new safety measures we have put in place will help keep our community healthy, safe and well-fed.”
Other new safety measures include:
- Market signage and chalk marks in front of vendor booths will be posted to remind customers to practice social distancing — maintaining a space of 6 feet from each other.
- Market staff will temporarily redesign booth locations — increasing space between vendors to 10 feet — to limit contact while still allowing purchases.
- Market staff and vendors will wear masks and use disposable gloves and sanitize all common, high-touch surfaces frequently.
- Vendors are encouraged to designate specific staff to handle money and products, respectively, when possible. Vendors handling money should not touch food products until they have washed their hands according to CDC guidelines.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be made available throughout the market as well as a portable handwashing station.
- All product sampling will be suspended.
- No tablecloths will be used.
- Customers will only order verbally and vendors will bag their purchases.
- Customers are encouraged to pay using Venmo or other similar noncontact payment applications and to place pre-orders with individual vendors.
- Curbside delivery of pre-orders will be available by calling 865-805-8687, ext. 1 upon arrival.
The farmers market will continue to take SNAP benefits and offer SNAP doubling for customers. All special events, including the Nourish Kids Club activities, have been suspended.
The New Harvest Farmers’ Market, 4775 New Harvest Lane, will open from 3-6 p.m. Thursday, April 23. It will remain open on Thursday afternoons through September.
A list of participating vendors by market date can be found here: http://maps.managemymarket.com/4125.
For more information, contact Nourish Knoxville at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-805-8687, ext. 1.
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