Looking for safer ways to get healthy food? Your nearby farmers’ market is a good option, and it’s likely to be open! We’ve been checking in with the markets to learn about evolving decisions on closures and find that most are staying open. However, it’s a good idea to check via market websites and social media before you go, since there may be exceptions. For instance, the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association markets held in front of Kaiser Permanente facilities have been suspended through March.
Jerry Lami, executive director of the West Coast Farmers’ Market Association, says that the California Department of Health considers farmers markets to be grocery stores, as opposed to non-essential mass gatherings like those Governor Gavin Newsom has barred.
Andréa Boca of the Urban Village Farmers’ Market Association points out that farmers’ markets have advantages in ways that might help minimize transmission of COVID-19. For example, markets offer open-air exchange, sunlight, and a gap in time between weekly markets when areas would become disinfected. Sampling, however, is a practice vendors are discontinuing for now.
Carle Brinkman of the Ecology Center described the vital role farmers’ markets can play during this unusual time: “We feel it is incredibly important in a health crisis that people continue to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables and so we will remain open and follow any guidance provided for grocery stores and other food outlets by public health experts and the City. We hope at this time of uncertainty that the farmers’ market can remain a pillar for community health and greater transparency in the food system.”
Neighborhood Restaurants, Caterers, and Other Food Businesses Expand Pickup/Delivery Options
With take-out and delivery now in high demand, many businesses are getting more creative with their offerings. For example, Anaviv’s Table is expanding their “order-in” menu and have started a special “hands-off” drive-through pickup of wood-fired pizza (like the scrumptious one in the picture above) on Sundays, 11am–6pm. Vegan chef Phil Gelb of Sound and Savor is working on new weekly menus for pickup and delivery.
By taking advantage of neighborhood options, you can keep well nourished while also supporting local businesses. Tell us about your favorite East Bay places for takeout and delivery. Contact us on Facebook, Instagram, or at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share!