Running a FM During COVID-19

How to Prep for your Famers Market Season during COVID-19

COVID-19 impacted virtually all businesses and arrived right before the start of market season. Fortunately, in 12 and counting states, farmers markets are essential and can continue operations. How can you ensure the health of your vendors and customers who come to your market? We compiled some helpful tips and reminders here!

Before opening…

  1. Contact sponsors and update them of your situation and explain the following.
    1. The importance of working together to supply the community with your products and to support the community with appropriate social life
    2. The policies established by local and state government
    3. How the community is working to survive this together
  2. Coordinate with your volunteers.
    1. Inform them of the policies established by local and state government and how they can help put those into practice.
  3. Be active on all SM platforms, post updates regarding each point made below.
    1. A list of merchants customers will find at the market
    2. How transactions will work and what form of payment customers will need
    3. Expectations for safety, hand-washing, social distancing
  4. Update your local health department on your plans moving forward.

Be prepared to…

  1. Use wooden tokens vs. cash
  2. Sanitize all SNAP tokens
  3. Place your vendors 6+ feet apart
  4. Use chalk/tape/ropes or anything you have access to in order to manage proper distances between customers
  5. Promote your market mid-season
  6. Limit the number of customers within market lines at a time
  7. Be flexible with vendor attendance
  8. -Strongly suggest that vendors and market staff use rubber gloves to handle money, tokens, or vouchers
  9. Post constant updates regarding your market on social media
  10. Postpone or cancel any scheduled programs/music/events that promote gathering

What other markets are doing…

  1. Offering drive-through markets
  2. Setting up online ordering
    1. Shopify
    2. Local Food Marketplace
    3. Google Forms
  3. Selling pre-packaged boxes

Stay up to date with steady farmers market updates here.

See all of the COVID-19 waivers issued for SNAP by state here, to better predict influx of demand.

For cleaning and disinfection tips surrounding the virus, visit

Running your own farmers market and have additional advice for fellow managers? Shoot us an email at