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Despite COVID-19 shadow, Capitol Hill Farmers Market going on as scheduled for shoppers — and vendors

(Image: CHS)

Looking for some normalcy as you “Spring Forward” from this COVID-19-shadowed end of winter?

Organizers of the Capitol Hill Farmers Market say the weekly gathering of local farmers, food, and, drink is still on for this Sunday on Broadway:

Farmers Markets in Seattle will continue as planned this weekend, including the University District, West Seattle, and Capitol Hill Farmers Markets, run by the nonprofit Neighborhood Farmers Markets, and the Ballard Farmers Market, run by the Seattle Farmers Market Association. The markets offer year-round economic opportunity to over 200 Washington State farmers and local food businesses, and also provide access to fresh nutritious food in local settings.

“It is important that everyone understand farmers markets are a place to buy nutritious local food, not a social event,” Jennifer Antos, executive director of the Neighborhood Farmers Markets said in the announcement of the decision. “As an organization based in community connection, our top priority is the health and wellness of market shoppers, vendors, and our staff.”

Don’t forget your clocks will leap forward. This Sunday also brings the start of daylight saving time.

The organizers say they are working closely with King County Public Health “to ensure safety and cleanliness throughout the year” —

In the wake of concern over COVID-19 in King County and guidance that large gatherings be postponed, market organizers have been proactively consulting on additional measures, and are voluntarily implementing the following to help prevent the spread of illness.

  • Public handwashing stations will be available for shoppers;
  • Customary cancellation fees are not being charged to any vendor who cancels due to illness or concern over public contact;
  • Handwashing posters and public health information will be posted;
  • Cooking demonstrations, public seating, and special events within the market have been cancelled to reduce close proximity gathering and increase available supplies for handwashing stations;
  • A zero-tolerance policy for market staff or vendors who attend the market if they are experiencing illness;
  • Everyone is cooperating to ensure cleanliness of “high touch” items and areas, such as card readers and touch screens.

The Neighborhood Farmers Markets says the majority of its vendors’ “direct-to-consumer farm businesses” earn 70% or more of their household income from the markets.

“Only some businesses have secondary sales channels such as wholesale or restaurant purchasing, so a downturn in attendance will likely take a toll during a month when many farmers are making significant purchases for the upcoming growing season,” the group says.

The weekly Capitol Hill Farmers Market is slated to move from its space in front of Seattle Central later this year to a new home in the plaza at Capitol Hill Station.

Capitol Hill Farmers Market

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