(BLOOMINGTON) – The Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market has launched its first online Market!
Orders must be placed by 11:59 p.m. today for pickup at the Switchyard Park Pavilion on Saturday, April 4.
The support of our local food systems is crucial, especially now. Farmers and the food and beverage artisans are key providers of essential services during this unprecedented time. The City of Bloomington is committed to local food security, to continuing to support access to nutrition for our most vulnerable populations, to strengthening our local food economy, and to providing safe, effective ways of making food available to the local community.
Working within the current public health imperative for physical distancing while supporting the essential role the Farmers’ Market serves as a food provider in the local economy, staff from the City’s departments of Parks and Recreation, Economic and Sustainable Development (ESD), and Information Technology Systems (ITS) has temporarily transformed the physical Market experience to an online shopping experience with a scheduled, drive-through pickup component at Switchyard Park (1601 South Rogers Street).
This month, market customers may browse the offerings of 46 farm vendors and food and beverage artisans on the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market website.
Market shoppers may search either by category, or by a particular vendor, to find Market offerings including fresh farm products, herbs, mushrooms, bread and other pre-packaged artisanal foods, bedding plants, flower bouquets, and more.
Shoppers may purchase their preferred products online from any vendor or combination of vendors they choose and make a single payment for the total purchase online. Customers will be alphabetically assigned a one-hour window between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday for curbside pickup of their purchases in the Switchyard Park Pavilion parking lot. All purchases must be made online by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday evening. No Market products will be available for sale on site.
All recommended Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols are in place to ensure the safety of Market vendors, staff, volunteers, and shoppers. Customers picking up online orders will remain in their vehicles, while Market staff will deliver Market products, packaged and bagged, directly to the vehicle. Customers will be asked not to leave their vehicle. The Market will operate on the online ordering system as long as public health guidelines recommend physical distancing.
The Market’s online version will continue to offer shoppers utilizing their SNAP (food stamp) benefits to purchase eligible products from participating Market vendors; SNAP users will receive special instructions for completing their SNAP purchases during checkout on the online system. The Farmers’ Market continues to double the value of SNAP benefits used at the Market. SNAP users’ EBT benefits will be doubled up to $18.
Farmers’ Market Advisory Council
The Farmers’ Market Advisory Council consists of eleven members representing two groups, Market customers and Market vendors.
The Council acts in an advisory capacity to the Board of Park Commissioners and Park staff on policy matters relating to the Farmers’ Market.
Meetings are usually held at 5:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month, however, Advisory Council meetings have been suspended at this point due to COVID-19.