A new system in response to the coronavirus crisis launches Thursday April 9 at the Flint Farmers’ Market, which has closed its building through April 30.
Online ordering has been set up at www.ffmtogo.square.site, and beginning Thursday customers can pick their orders for curbside pickup between 1 and 5 p.m. The schedule, originally set up for three days/week, has been reduced to two as follows:
ORDER SUNDAYS – PICK UP THURSDAYS 1-5 p.m.
ORDER WEDNESDAYS – PICK UP SATURDAYS 1-5 p.m.
“Shoppers are also welcome to contact individual food vendors to order take-out food for curbside pick-up,” according to the market announcement.
Farmers’ Market manager Karianne Martus said the response has been “overwhelming” since the ordering link went up Sunday, April 5. Vendors had reached capacity and further ordering cut off for the first day of pickup. Visitors attempting to order on the website were requested to check back in Wednesday, April 8 for Saturday pickup.
The change occurred after the market had experimented with being open Saturdays only, but only nine of 44 indoor vendor still were able to be open to the public, market officials said.
Farmers’ Market officials are developing a delivery service, aiming to be available by mid-April, the site states.
The decisions faced by the market are “to protect customers and vendors from exposure to Cover-19,” the announcement state. “This decision comes on the heels of an announcement by the CDC and Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDARD) recommending that grocery establishments, with the capability for curbside pick-up, should move to that as an option.”
The website stated the change in schedule, combined with online ordering and curbside pick-up, will allow MORE of the vendors to participate and give customers access to essential grocery items “in a timely and safe manner while respecting the guidelines set forth by the government.”
“This has been an agonizing decision for market management and leadership. At the end of the day we feel this is the best decision because it still gives customers options for good fresh food while keeping them safe from potential exposure,” said Karianne Martus, market manager. “It also gives almost ALL of our vendors an opportunity for income during this very, very difficult time.”
Additional points in the market announcement are as follows:
- Some restaurants in the market will offer phone orders and curbside service 1-5 p.m. (market days)
- Some grocery vendors will take phone orders for curbside pick-up from 1-5 p.m. (market days)
- Some vendors will be set up outside for shopping and order pick up 1-5 p.m. (market days)