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North Union Farmers Market Open Saturday, With Precautions

The North Union Farmers Market will be open Saturday morning at outdoor locations at Crocker Park and Shaker Square from 9 a.m. until noon, .

Both events were canceled last weekend to reassess options in the midst of the coronavirus, General Manager Emma Visnic said. It was a difficult time to do so, she said, as farmers were buying seeds for the next season without much to sell.

“Not only was it really hard to decide to close at a time when they don’t have much income coming in,” Visnic said. “But it was also, from what we heard from our customers, really hard on them. They were relying on us as their grocery store.”

North Union is taking precautions against the spread of coronavirus. The markets will be outdoors instead of indoors. Organizers will space out vendors’ stalls and ask customers to keep 6 feet apart. Sellers will bag food themselves before handing it to buyers, she said.

“I never thought I’d say this as a farmer’s market manager, but we are asking that people don’t bring their reusable bags at this time,” she said. “We’re just really trying to minimize contact for the farms.”

The market also plans to expand a matching program for customers who use federal food assistance, or SNAP. Typically the market matches up to $20 on SNAP payments for produce. Starting this weekend, the market is removing limits on match payments.

Farmers’ markets avoided coronavirus-related shutdowns in California, where they are being categorized as essential businesses along with grocery stores.

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