BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Governor Brad Little said certified farmers’ markets are essential services, he listed them in his official order. With that, the Capital City Public Market posted on their Facebook page that they will open their market.
People on social media jumped to conclusions and commented that they were not happy about the farmers' market opening during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chris Smith, a spokesperson for the Capital City Public Market, said opening during a pandemic is not simple.
“Well we're just trying to set expectations about what to expect with the market, the Capital City Public Market, during a pandemic era,“ Smith said.
The Facebook post indicated that there would be a market in the near future and drew a lot of attention. Some people were furious over the post, one person commenting, in part, “That’s incredibly irresponsible.”
“Part of the feedback on Facebook were people jumping to the conclusion that the market was going to be the same as it ever was and unfortunately as we all know, it’s going to be a while before things are back to being the same as before,” Smith said.
Smith said he appreciates the concerns, but that market staff has worked for weeks to create a different setup.
“It’s going to be much more spread out, in a different location, probably like a parking lot or an empty field,” Smith said.
He also explained that certified farmers' markets have been deemed essential.
“We will only provide essential services, that means things like food, produce, protein, those kind of same things that a grocery store would provide,” Smith said.
The market is not just another place to go buy food. Smith said the market is a part of the Double Up Food Bucks program through SNAP, also known as food stamps.
“What that is, is it doubles the buying power of food stamps for people who do shop from local growers at a farmers market,” Smith said.
That also helps local businesses trying to stay afloat.
For now, the market will be essential vendors, offering fresh products. The popular Artesian vendors are not essentials services, so they will have to continue waiting for the market to fully open.
So, when will the market open and where is the new location?
“Those details are all being worked out right now and when it’s time, and everyone is comfortable with the plan, that’s when we will announce the market is open. We look forward to it just like everybody,” Smith said.
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