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The Bloomington Community Farmers' Market, with support and direction from the Monroe County Health Department, is merging its successful online store with a physically distanced walk-through customer order pick up as the Market returns to its usual location at Showers Common, 401 N. Morton St. in May.

The online Farmers' Market opens at 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 19.

The site will include more than 40 farm vendors and food and beverage artisans who choose to offer their products for sale on the online Market. Up to 1,000 online orders will be accepted through the site, for a wide variety of products including herb and vegetable plants, meat, cheese and eggs, baked goods, fresh vegetables, and more. 

The Bloomington Community Farmers' Market will look familiar, with stands and booths of farm and food products, but will be a different type of experience as the Market works within safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There will be no on-site purchases, no live music, no entertainment, and no information alley at the May Farmers' Markets; rather, the focus will be on Market vendors providing essential food to customers who pre-purchase items online.

A maximum of 75 customers are permitted in the Market area at one time. There is a single entrance, and single exit, to and from the Market area; both are located on the brick plaza in front of City Hall. Customers will arrive at Showers Common during their assigned pick-up times, and will check in at the Market entrance. Once in the Market area, customers will pick up items from the vendors they purchased from.

The Farmers' Market is prepared to follow to the letter the requirements set forth by the Monroe County Health Department in order to protect the health and well-being of all Market vendors, workers, and shoppers.  The Market boundaries will be marked with fencing, with one entry point and one exit from the brick plaza in front of City Hall. Only 75 people at a time will be permitted inside the Farmers' Market area where the vendors are set up, and the vendors will be arranged in alphabetical order by vendor, farm or business name so shoppers can follow their list of purchased items from booth to booth, in one-way pedestrian traffic, to pick up their pre-packaged orders. In addition, hand washing stations have been added, and each vendor is required to wear a mask and disposable gloves, to have hand sanitizer available for customers, and must thoroughly and frequently clean tables and other surfaces inside their booths. 

Market customers are strongly encouraged to wear face masks and disposable gloves while picking up food orders. Please send only one person per family to pick up your order.

The May version of the online Farmers' Market follows the model established during the month of April where, for the first time, Market food and farm products were available entirely online. 

If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at onlinefarmersmarket@bloomington.in.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Farmers' Market Walk-Through Pick Up

Q: Where can I find my pick up time slot?
A: This information is always available on the Online Farmers' Market home page. Changes and updates are usually posted on Monday afternoons each week.

Q: Can someone else pick my order up for me?
A: Yes-- even if their last name is in a different time slot!

Q: I am not available during my assigned pick-up time. Can I pick up at a different time?
A: To keep our customer counts to the limits recommended by the Monroe County Health Department, we encourage all customers to come at their designated time, which are assigned according to last name. If you are unable to make this work with your schedule, please try to find a family member or friend who can pick up for you. However, if your designated time slot doesn’t work for your schedule and you are unable to find someone to pick up for you, we will not turn you away if you come at another time.

Q: Can I add something to my order after I’ve hit “confirm order”? Can I cancel my order?
A: You can modify your order at any point up until the online store closes each week. Just log back into your account and add new items to your shopping cart or delete items you no longer want and then click "Resend Confirmation". You can reconfirm orders multiple times but it doesn't process additional purchases, just reconfirms what you already ordered and adds any new items or removes items you don't want. Orders can only be cancelled until the online store closes each week. After that, cancellations are not possible and you must pay for everything you order.

Q: How do I pay for my order?
A: If you are a retail customer, you will enter your credit card and billing information during the registration process. This information is saved in an encrypted format and used to pay for your order each week. Please note that credit card transactions are FINALIZED on the Monday after you pick up your order. If you are a SNAP customer, you should bring your EBT card with you on Saturdays and check in at the SNAP table to pay before picking up your order. More details about SNAP payment and Double Market Bucks are in the questions below.

Q: What if there was an item missing from my order?
A: If a vendor was unable to provide an item at pickup, use the Contact Us page to let us know what items you didn’t receive, so we can issue a refund. If you forgot to pick the item up or forgot to come to Market, you are still obligated to pay for the item, under our Terms of Service agreement.

Q: Can I pay with EBT/SNAP benefits?
A: Yes! When you register as a new customer, simply select “SNAP Customer” on the registration form. Then fill your shopping cart and confirm your order. On Saturday at pick up, you need to bring your EBT card to pay for your order at the designated SNAP table. The Double Market Bucks program will match up to $18 in purchases each week. For example, if you order $36 worth of food, $18 will be covered by Double Market Bucks and $18 by your EBT. If you order $20 worth of food, $10 will be covered by Double Market Bucks and $10 by EBT. If you order $50 worth of food, $18 will be covered by Double Market Bucks and $32 by EBT. You can also elect to split your payment between Double Market Bucks, EBT, and a credit card-- please email onlinefarmersmarket@bloomington.in.gov if you wish to split your payment like this.

Q: Why isn’t a drive-through pick up available, like there was during the April Market?
A: With the increased numbers of both vendors and customers participating in the Market during late spring and early summer, management of a drive-through model was not sustainable.

Q: Why is the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market operating online? When will the regular market open?
A: The online market is a response to the COVID-19 crisis. To meet guidelines from the Monroe County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we have made major modifications to keep the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market open during this public health emergency. Farmers’ markets are considered essential during this time, and we will modify market operations as officials allow.

Q: How do I find new items or find items in a particular category?
A: Visit the "Product List” page to see what vendors have to offer. Use the "Shop By" button on the left side of the product list to search by categories, what's new, vendor, or attributes. To see what products individual vendors have to offer, choose the vendor under "Meet Your Producers" and scroll to the bottom of the page to view that vendor's products.

Q: I don’t know the name of my favorite vendor but I remember where they were located at the Market in 2019. Can you help me find them?
A: Check out the Meet Your Producers page which includes pictures and written descriptions of each vendor. If you are looking for someone in particular and know the location, reference the Market map which shows locations for reserved space farmers in 2019.

Attachments

Market Map.pdf (360.96 KB)