Alexandria, VA – The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recently announced Virginia Farmers Market Week to show support for farmers markets throughout the state. It will begin this Monday, April 27 and end on Sunday May 3.
Forty Alexandria vendors are participating in the Farmers Market To-Go program. The Old Town Farmers Market, dating back to when George Washington sold his produce in the city, will be on hand to sell the freshest vegetables, fruits, and other goods.
VTC and VDACS encourage residents to shop locally at markets that offer curbside pickup or no-contact delivery. The organizations want to support farmers while following current social distancing mandates. It is suggested that consumers visit HERE to search for a market closest to them. Please also call ahead to find out if the market of their choice is operating.
“Many Virginia farmers markets are open for business as they have transitioned their operations to encourage social distancing and no-contact purchasing,” said Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh, VDACS Commissioner.
With nearly 300 throughout Virginia, farmers markets provide important connections between farmers and consumers. For the farmer, markets are a valuable sales channel for their products, which in turn boosts the local economy. For consumers, markets are places to shop fresh, local products and learn about agriculture. Communities can also improve their overall health with access to fresh produce.
As the coronavirus hangs over the start of this season, markets have had to adapt their business models. Some now offer online pre-ordering and pick-up or delivery service. Others have limited walk-through traffic and sell pre-packaged goods.
The VTC and VDACS request that people avoid traveling if sick. When visiting a market, consumers are reminded to stay six feet from others and wash hands their hands frequently..
“We hope that everyone who is able will participate in Virginia Farmers Market Week,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of VTC. “Virginians will see all the fantastic food options that are locally produced and how important they are to localities and their citizens especially during this time.”