ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Larry Hogan has declared Aug. 2-8 as Maryland Farmers’ Market Week to coincide with the annual National Farmers’ Market Week celebration. The Maryland Department of Agriculture encourages citizens to participate by visiting farmers’ markets and buying local products. Find a farmers’ market near you by visiting the Maryland’s Best website.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, farmers’ markets have been considered essential, working vigorously to remain open while also ensuring the health and safety of their customers and vendors,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Now more than ever, it is important to support our Maryland farmers’ markets and their vendors who have helped keep food on the table. This week and beyond, we encourage Marylanders to buy their fresh produce and other items directly from Maryland growers and producers at farmers’ markets across the state.”
As a primary source of nutrition in some communities, many farmers’ markets around Maryland have remained open with protocols in place to promote social distancing, environmental cleaning, and sanitization. Before heading to your local market, please check with individual markets for the most current information on their hours and updated safety protocols.
There are currently 91 farmers’ markets operating in Maryland, including at least one in each county and Baltimore City. Each market is an important economic driver for the state’s agriculture industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced a growing trend of consumer demand for farmers’ markets as more people are looking for alternatives to shopping at the grocery store.
These markets include hundreds of Maryland farmers and producers who participate annually in the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for Women, Infants, Children (WIC) and Seniors. Nearly half of the markets also participate in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly known as food stamps. These programs help expand access for low-income Marylanders to be able to purchase fresh produce at Maryland farmers’ markets. More information on which farmers markets accept these benefits can be found in the 2020 Maryland Farmers’ Market Directory.
Some statistics about Maryland farmers markets:
Number of MDA Recognized Farmers’ Markets: 91
Number of markets with FMNP farmers: 90
Number of markets with farmers who accept SNAP: 51
Number of markets with farmers that accept electronic WIC benefits: 20
Maryland Farmers’ Market Week is fresh off the heels of Maryland Buy Local Week (July 18-26). The department hopes that Marylanders keep the spirit of Maryland Buy Local Week going by supporting Maryland farmers’ markets from Aug. 2-8. For ideas on meals to make with your farmers’ market purchases, check out the 2020 Maryland WIC Farmers’ Market Cookbook.
Join the celebration online and help promote National and Maryland Farmers’ Market Week by sharing your favorite farmers’ market photos on social media using the following hashtags: #FarmersMarketsAreEssential, #FarmersMarketWeek, #LoveMyMarket, or #MDFarmersMarket. Also, be sure to tag the Maryland Department of Agriculture (@MdAgDept) and Maryland’s Best (@MDsBest) on Twitter and Facebook.
For more information on farmers’ markets in your area, please visit Maryland’s Best or call 410-841-5770.
–Maryland Department of Agriculture