Minnesota farmers markets seeking help to ensure that market vendors and customers are practicing safe and sanitary guidelines during the upcoming market season can apply for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) new Safe at the Farmers Market Cost Share program.
Eligible markets may be reimbursed up to $350 on the purchase a variety of equipment that will help markets comply with the Guidance for Minnesota Farmers Markets and Vendors (pdf).
Examples of eligible equipment include handwashing stations, additional tables to increase distance between vendors and customers, signage to properly communicate handwashing and social distancing, sanitation supplies to clean commonly touched surfaces, and rope/fencing/tape/chalk to guide customers through their market experience.
In order to qualify, farmers market must be authorized to participate in SNAP in 2020 and a) be located in or adjacent to a food desert or b) be located in or adjacent to a low-income or moderate-income area and serve a population with limited access, such as the elderly or disabled.
Applications to the program are being accepted now through May 31, 2020, or until all funds are depleted. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Markets will receive payment approximately two to four weeks after their application is approved.
For more information and to get an application form, visit the MDA’s Safe at the Market Cost Share web page.
Funding for this program is made available through the Good Food Access Program.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications