The number of farmers markets in the US is increasing—as are the numbers of customers and the number of states choosing to celebrate them with an official ‘Farmers Market Week’.
The cheeriest place to buy your groceries not only survived the pandemic, they are thriving—despite lockdown policies in many states labeling them as “non-essential”, forcing a shut-down, while indoor supermarkets were kept open.
Thirty years ago, there were fewer than 2,000 open farmers markets in the U.S. Today, there are more than 8,600 markets currently registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory, per the Farmers Market Coalition.
This nonprofit advocacy organization fought on behalf of farmers during the pandemic, presenting a spirited defense using scientific and common sense arguments to keep them going when state or local governments wanted to shut them down.
In lockdown-heavy cities like Chicago, the Green City Market on Saturdays has grown from 5,000-10,000 shoppers pre-pandemic to 8,000-15,000 today.
Part of the reason, Green City Market’s organizer Taylor Choy tells the AP, is that supply chain issues which during COVID-19 increased the prices at supermarkets didn’t affect farmers markets that instead rely on local producers.
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