City of Alexandria Maintains Access to Farmers’ Market Vendors Through Pre-Orders Only
For Immediate Release: March 24, 2020
To maintain access to fresh food while promoting social distancing during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the City of Alexandria has directed farmers’ market food vendors to offer only pickup of pre-ordered food until further notice. This direction is intended to ensure that vendors comply with the letter and spirit of Governor Northam’s March 23 executive order, which bans gatherings of more than 10 people and prohibits farmers’ market customers from congregating.
“Alexandria has a long and proud tradition of farmers’ markets, dating to the years when George Washington sent his produce to be sold in Market Square,” said City Manager Mark Jinks. “Our markets serve as a vital resource for consumers, and City staff have worked hard to keep this food supply available in our community and support market vendors during this extraordinary time. As we all make changes in our routines to protect each other, we ask customers to comply with the Governor’s order to practice social distancing and avoid gathering, so market vendors can remain accessible in the weeks ahead.”
No food or other items may be displayed or offered for sampling or sale at the market location, and non-food vendors may not provide pickup. To reduce touching and avoid lines, vendors are encouraged to provide for prepayment of orders if possible. Vendors who offer pre-ordering have been asked to provide details to Visit Alexandria, and submissions will be listed at www.ALXatHome.com. Check the site throughout the week for updates.
Market managers have been asked to increase the distance between vendor stands, encourage handwashing and social distancing by vendors and customers, actively discourage lines, and ensure that customers who have picked up their orders exit promptly. While there is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through food, any food can be a surface for the transmission of viruses if safe food handling practices are not followed. Before preparing or eating, customers should wash all fruits and vegetables in accordance with FDA guidance for cleaning produce.
For more information about farmers’ markets in Alexandria, visit alexandriava.gov/FarmersMarkets. For more information about the COVID-19 coronavirus and how you can help protect yourself and those around you, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.
For inquiries from the news media only, contact Craig Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.3965, Virginia Relay 711.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114386.