Markets and COVID

SFC Farmers' Markets and COVID-19

SFC FARMERS' MARKETS AND COVID-19

March 18, 2020

The following has been updated September 21, 2020.

To our valued SFC Farmers’ Market community:

Thanks to an order passed by the Travis County Judge, we are considered a critical healthy food access point during the COVID-19 crisis and will remain open to the public.

Both our Downtown and Sunset Valley markets will be open on Saturdays from 9-1. In addition, Double Up Food Bucks is still available at both of our markets and at the Texas Farmers' Markets.

We want to thank our community for continuing to support small businesses and local farms these past few months. Because you have continued to show up to markets, join CSA’s, order online and demand that your local grocers carry the products from the markets that you know and love our vendors have stayed open and busy. Thanks to you we have been able to stay open safely and provide Austin with needed food access relief and allowed our network of small farms to thrive.

Austin is currently in Stage 3 of its COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines and with it some restrictions have eased at our markets. We have opened multiple entrances, leading to shorter lines and faster entry. We have also brought back some non-vendor services like voter registration and music. We are planning to open a dedicated food court area at each market so patrons can safely drink and dine with us onsite again. You can plan your trip to the market by checking out our Phased Reopening Plan.

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We understand that this is a difficult time for many, including our local farmers and small business owners. We will remain open as long as we are allowed, following a new set of safety measures and protocols for our crew, vendors, and customers to follow. Please read on to find out more about social distancing at the market, our sanitation procedures, and the importance of supporting local farms and businesses during this unprecedented time.

For a list of vendors offering preorder at the market, please visit our Food Access Resources in Central Texas page.

If you have additional questions please contact us at farmersmarket@sustainablefoodcenter.org

Thank you again, and we will see you at the markets!

For the foreseeable future we are asking shoppers to consider the farmers’ market like they would a grocery store – come in, shop, and leave.

We are rescheduling the following for the time being:

  • Activities and events
  • All dine-in options (frozen and to-go food will be available from certain vendors)
  • All sampling and self-serve
  • Café areas

Please help us stay open and safe by picking up your products and leaving. Do not idle at the markets and please do not consume any food or beverages onsite.

For your safety we ask all customers to abide by the following:

  • Always wear a face covering or face mask while in line to enter the market or in the market area. You can find more information on face masks here
  • Shop solo or in small groups!
  • We will be limiting entrances to the market; you may experience a short line as you enter the market area
  • Capacity at both markets will be capped - Downtown at 150 and Sunset Valley at 90
  • Maintain at least 6 ft of distance between other shoppers and vendors, especially while you are waiting in line
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or use available hand sanitizer upon arrival at the market
  • There will be 6 ft. of space between each vendor booth. These are not walkways, but distancing measures. Do not congregate here
  • No hand-to-hand contact will be allowed between vendors and shoppers. Point to the product that you would like, allow the vendor to bag it and set it down on the table before you pick it up
  • Do not hand vendor payments directly. Place cash and credit cards on the table for vendors to pick up
  • Don’t greet anyone at the market with hugs or handshakes
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Anyone who is feeling unwell in any way should stay home

Vendor set-ups will be modified for the time being.

The following are requirements for vendor participation in the markets:

  • No samples of any kind allowed
  • No communal, self-serve areas
  • Preorders must be set in a monitored space within or to the side of the vendor booth. Shoppers will not be able to access CSA’s or preorders behind the vendor booth
  • Hand Sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) at every booth, provided by the vendor, for customers and employees
  • Vendors and staff will be required to wear a face mask or covering for the duration of your shift at the market. You can find instructions here (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html) to make your own, a bandana covering alone will not suffice.
  • All booths will be 6-10 ft apart to maximize space and minimize clustering from each other, and layouts will reflect this. Our markets will have some layout irregularities as a result. Some vendors will have to move from their typical spots. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this
  • Vendors and customers are not allowed to occupy the 6 foot spaces between booths
  • All vendors must wash hands at least once per hour
  • Gloves alone are not an acceptable alternative to frequent handwashing
    • SFC will be providing additional handwashing stations at our markets, open to all staff, vendors, and customers
  • Vendors prepackage items for customers, then put the container down, let the customer pick up bag; same with payment; no hand to hand contact
  • Anyone who is feeling unwell should stay home – employees must be sent home if they exhibit an internal body temperature of 99.6 °F or higher

For Prepared Food Vendors Only:

  • All Prepared Food Vendors must give hot foods to customers in to-go containers only, with the expectation that it will be consumed offsite

SFC and your local farming community appreciate your ongoing support considering recent circumstances.

Please check back frequently to the SFC Farmers’ Market Facebook and Instagram for additional ways you can support the small businesses, farms, and ranches at your local markets.