The Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will launch an online marketplace for the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market in May.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and CDC recommendations regarding large gatherings, the postponement of the season opener was recently announced. The DDA has been working closely with the Michigan Farmers Market Association and the State of Michigan on guidelines to provide easy access to fresh food from our local farmers by offering a physical market with a new layout and procedures that adhere to social distancing and safety requirements. The DDA is targeting the physical market to open in June 2020.
The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market online marketplace will allow for single customer transactions from multiple farms. Customers will place orders throughout the week for pick-up on market days. The platform will also allow for food assistance programs to be redeemed for purchases, including SNAP, P-EBT, Double Up Food Bucks, Project Fresh, Senior Project Fresh, Hoophouses for Health and Munson Health Care’s Prescriptions for Health.
“The Farmers Market is one of our most celebrated traditions and has provided access to fresh local food for all members of the community. In addition, the market has served as a sales venue that is critical to supporting our local agricultural industry. We are pleased to continue to provide an online platform that connects people and farmers. We look forward to hosting a physical market safely in June,” says Jean Derenzy, DDA CEO.
The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market online marketplace will be hosted through Local Food Marketplace and may be accessed at dda.downtowntc.com/farmers-market. The DDA will partner with SEEDS and Taste the Local Difference to manage the online initiative and host training for market vendors. The start date is anticipated for May 2 with the first pick up scheduled for May 9.