OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington joins the nation in celebrating farmers markets this week with freshness, safety, and a spirit of community on display at the nearly 160 farmers markets across the state.
Especially during this time of physical distancing and staying close to home, farmers markets foster community connection and provide vital business for local farms. Washington’s farmers markets support an essential part of our state’s food supply chain and bring abundant offerings from local farms into neighborhoods in over 90 cities and towns.
Underscoring their importance, Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed August 2 – 8, 2020, “Farmers Market Week in Washington”. The Governor’s proclamation recognizes farmers markets are essential businesses that are committed to providing safe shopping experiences so that families may access healthy, local foods and agricultural products directly from Washington farmers and independent food businesses.
“This year, more than ever, shopping at your local farmers market is not only important to the economic health of our farmers, but with all the additional safety protocols we have implemented – it’s a safe, open-air way to shop for food,” said Carrie Olson, Coordinator of the Renton Farmers Market.
WSDA Director Derek Sandison applauded market managers like Olson whose efforts make farmers markets possible.
“Farmers market managers are dedicated community leaders driven by shared values to support local farmers and feed their neighbors,” Sandison said. “This year especially, they are going above and beyond for shopper safety and support for local producers.”
Farmers markets support farm families, small businesses, rural jobs, artisans, and help ensure nutritious food is accessible to all. Many markets accept SNAP and Farmers Market Nutrition checks as well as participating in the “Market Match” program to ensure people experiencing low-income can also purchase fresh produce.
Direct support for communities
Lora Liegel, Director of Bellingham Farmers Market, emphasized how farmers markets strengthen communities.
“Every time you shop at a farmers market, your purchase goes directly to supporting your community. Now more than ever, our community needs us. And we need you.”
The Washington State Farmers Market Association directory helps people find the market nearest them to explore during farmers market week.
— Washington State Department of Agriculture
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