ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 19, 2020)—The Maryland Department of Agriculture considers farmers markets an essential business and an important source of food for many Marylanders. The department is asking that farmers markets remain open during the current state of emergency.
“Farmers markets play a critical role in providing fresh, nutritious and locally-produced food products to customers across the state—especially those Marylanders who live in food deserts and those who rely on SNAP benefits to access fresh produce,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “It is important that we keep that supply line open while making sure we implement the same preventative measures used in grocery stores and other essential retail businesses.”
In response to the state’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, markets are urged to make necessary adjustments to promote social distancing; increase access to hand sanitizer/washing stations for staff, vendors and patrons; regularly sanitize any touch surfaces; and consider any operational changes that may reduce the opportunity for infection. More information on prevention is available from the Maryland Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.