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Forest Farmer's Market looks to deliver fresh food despite pandemic

This sign outside the Forest Library shows the tentative first meeting date for the farmer's market. WDBJ7 photo.
This sign outside the Forest Library shows the tentative first meeting date for the farmer's market. WDBJ7 photo.(WDBJ)
Published: Apr. 10, 2020 at 4:58 PM EDT
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Right on Route 221 sits the Forest Library, home to the Forest Farmer's Market.

Every year, vendors and locals flock to this parking lot to get their fresh food fix.

Now, with coronavirus cases passing over 4,500 in Virginia, the market could look different.

"We might be allowing 10 people at a time. If that is relaxed a little bit, we will maintain the social distancing of six feet between each customer and the vendors," said Dorothy McIntyre, Forest Farmer's Market manager.

This year's market will make the 10th anniversary of this organization.

But because of the pandemic, vendors are shifting the way they supply their buyers, such as through online ordering.

"Some of the ideas that could possibly happen is that they would give time slots for people to pick up from the online orders or they could potentially do deliveries for a small charge or free of charge," said McIntyre.

There's also additional efforts being done by farmers to make sure consumers feel safe.

"They are looking at how they're doing things in a whole new way - wearing gloves and packaging and making sure that customers feel comfortable," said Traci Blido, Bedford County Economic Development director.

"The only two people that have really touched that product is the farmer that is preparing it on their farm and you, so there's so much less cross-contamination," said McIntyre.

And despite the potential for less face-time with people, McIntyre says that the interest in buying local has actually gone up.

"I hope that this is an introduction to people that they see the importance of buying local and supporting local right now," said McIntyre.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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