Overland Park Farmers Market tries drive-thru system to meet social distancing and safety standards

It’s spring, which marks the start of farmers market (and asparagus!) season. Around the city, farmers markets, which are declared essential food businesses, are adapting to meet social distancing and safety standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Overland Park Farmers Market is making some huge pivots: The market will host a farmers market drive-thru system in the parking lot of the Overland Park Convention Center. The drive-thru takes vehicles along a one-way path lined with vendor tables and shoppers order from vendors without leaving their cars. However, to make the process go faster, the City of Overland Park recommends that shoppers pre-order produce and goods on the Overland Park Farmers Market: Forum for Vendors & Shoppers Facebook group or contact vendors directly to place orders.

The farmers market trialed the drive-thru market on what would’ve been their regular Opening Day last Saturday, April 25. Thanks to a conglomerate of OP city employees, the drive-thru was a success and they plan on doing it again this weekend on Saturday, May 2 from 8 am to 2 pm.

Other city farmers markets are operating with some restrictions. Downtown KC’s City Market announced in an e-newsletter that “In compliance with the Mayor’s State of Emergency, the Farmers Market will be open on Saturdays, 9 am-2 pm”  and that “vendors will be limited to the sale of food-related products including produce, vegetable plants and prepared foods.” They also recommended that shoppers engage in six-foot social distancing guidelines when shopping at the market.

The Brookside Farmers Market continues to host its farmers market on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm and recommends that shoppers utilize the handwashing station and come prepared with a shopping list. “We believe farmers markets are essential to the livelihood of farmers and food access, not just a social gathering,” the market stated on their website.

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