Grocery stores have been packed with residents for over a week now, with little produce and other goods to fill the shelves. But Greenmarkets are still open even as New York hits the pause button.
GrowNYC, the organization that runs these markets throughout the five boroughs, announced that their markets are considered an essential service because they provide food to city residents. This means they do not have to stop operating. Some new measures are being taken to keep shoppers safe, but for the most part, not much is changing.
Greenmarkets allow local farmers and artisans to sell their products directly to consumers and allow consumers to know where their food is coming from. Alcohol, produce, baked goods, meat and more are available at these markets.
The only changes GrowNYC has announced to their regularly scheduled farmer’s markets are the cancellation of the Staten Island Ferry’s Tuesday market and City Hall Park’s Friday market. For now, food scrap drop-offs for composting and clothing drop-offs are cancelled at each market.
Greenmarkets are mostly open-air, giving shoppers the opportunity to practice social distancing and stand six feet from each other. The organization is asking that extra space be given to the elderly as well. Self-service has also been stopped. Instead, farmers will help shoppers pick out their products.
GrowNYC also recommends paying with a card or Venmo when possible. Hand sanitizer is available at the Market Information Tent and all surfaces are sanitized regularly throughout the day. If you’re sick, GrowNYC is asking that you stay home and have someone pick up products for you.
All markets also accept SNAP/EBT. In order to use SNAP/EBT at a market, you must find the market manager in a GrowNYC shirt. You then swipe your card and purchase as many $1 or $5 tokens, which act as cash, as you would like. You also receive $2 in Health Bucks, which are only good for fruits and vegetables, for every $5 you spend with SNAP. The tokens can be used on any SNAP-eligible food and will never expire so unused tokens can be used at a later date.
To find your local Greenmarket, visit GrowNYC’s site here.