Four Things You Can Do to Support Family Farmers Impacted by COVID-19 Closures
With the closure of restaurants and schools and the future of the farmers' market season uncertain, farms and food businesses are among those most impacted by the economic impacts of the national COVID-19 emergency.
At a time when many grocery store shelves are bare and global supply chains are being disrupted, we are reminded of the importance of our local economy and community resilience.
Now, more than ever, its important to buy food from local farms in your area.
Farmers and farmers' markets are working to develop safe practices and alternative purchasing strategies during these unprecedented times, and OEFFA is exploring ways that we can help. Please look for additional information from us in the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, here are four things you can do now to help keep family farmers in business and put fresh, local food and farm products on your family's table:
Sign up for a CSA: If you haven't already signed up for a community supported agriculture (CSA) program—a subscription to a farm, which can include weekly boxes of produce, fruit, flowers, eggs, and/or meat—many farmers offer convenient home delivery and pick up options. Find CSAs in your area using OEFFA's Good Earth Guide, Local Harvest, or Small Farm Central's CSA directory.
Shop online: Many farmers' markets, farmers, and food businesses now offer online shopping through their websites where you can pre-order products, and others are working quickly to get new systems online. Some even offer drive-thru pick up, delivery or shipping, or gift cards or gift certificates. The Worthington Farmers' Market posted a detailed list of how to support their vendors while the market is closed.
Shop local: Skip the big box retailers and buy direct. Some farmers have on-farm stands that remain open. Local retailers, like Local Roots Market in Wooster, MOON Co-Op in Oxford, and Keller Market House in Lancaster are likely in need of customers right now too, and carry products from local farms and food businesses.
Contact your farmer: If your favorite farmer doesn't have a CSA or an online store, contact them to see if you can make a special order or ask about other ways to purchase from them if your local farmers' market is closed. Telling them you want to support them could be very meaningful during this difficult time and let them know there's interest for pick up and delivery options. Many farmers who don't currently have CSA programs are considering this and other creative options right now.
Thank you for playing your part in rising to this challenge with creativity and compassion!
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association 41 Croswell Rd. | Columbus, Ohio 43214 (614) 421-2022 | firstname.lastname@example.org