With COVID-19 and Gov. Time Walz announcing the closing of bars, restaurants and schools across the state, many Minnesota farmers have suddenly lost a significant number of their wholesale buyers.
Fortunately, consumers can support farmers by reaching out and buying directly from them.
As grocery stores across the nation experience significant sales spikes and challenges to keep shelves stocked, buying directly from local farmers is another win-win option for keeping one’s household well-stocked with fresh, quality food while avoiding crowds, according to the Minnesota Farmers Union.
Many farms across Minnesota are quickly adapting to the pandemic and adding alternative ways customers can safely obtain farm products to accommodate for social distancing, including pre-arranged pick-up sites, on-farm pick-up, home delivery and shipping.
MFU is connecting consumers directly with these farmers through its Minnesota Cooks local foods program. The Minnesota Cooks team created a survey for farmers to share how they are accessible and published a list of these farmers on their website.
“All family farmers need access to markets to make a living, and the coronavirus pandemic has diminished many market opportunities,” says MFU president Gary Wertish. “With food businesses and schools having to close or scale back operations as part of social distancing efforts, MFU’s Minnesota Cooks team reached out to local food producers who have directly lost their markets in Minnesota and created this list for consumers so they can support our farmers with direct purchasing.”
If you are a farmer or producer and would like to be added to the growing list, please fill out the Buying Local While Social Distancing Survey, also linked on the Minnesota Cooks website. The list is updated daily as farmers respond.
Farmers request that buyers call ahead to verify there is product available and to schedule an appointment. Most importantly, stay home if you are not feeling well.
Questions? Contact email@example.com.
The mission of Minnesota Cooks, started by MFU in 2003, is to help connect consumers to locally grown and raised Minnesota foods by highlighting farm-restaurant partnerships from around the state. Annual participants are showcased in a one-day event at the Minnesota State Fair and in the widely distributed Minnesota Cooks calendar.