MARQUETTE, MI: The Marquette Downtown Development Authority (DDA) launched the Downtown Marquette Online Marketplace Farmers Market on May 17 in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic regarding large gatherings and social distancing parameters. Transitioning to a physical market will be assessed as a possible option later in the season.
“The Online Marketplace is a fantastic resource that allows our vendors to offer their product for sale to a mass audience and continue to make a livelihood during these uncertain times. The DDA has taken on the role of administering the marketplace which allows our vendors to focus on their work—growing food or making products,” said Market Manager, Sara Johnson.
The Downtown Marquette Online Marketplace Farmers Market allows for a single customer transaction from multiple farms and producers. Customers place orders throughout the week for pick-up on market days. Ordering begins every week at noon on Sunday and closes at midnight on Wednesdays. This allows farmers and producers time to harvest, wash and pack orders at peak freshness. Customers may then pick up their order on Saturday during an assigned pick up time based on last name. Pick up is at The Marquette Commons, where the market is usually held. There are no vendors or products available for purchase at pick up. All orders are pre-paid via credit card. Customers enter their credit card information when they place their order, however cards will not be charged until Saturday morning. This allows time for vendors to enter final order information, such as the exact weight of meat products priced per pound.
The Online Marketplace also allows food assistance programs to be redeemed for purchases, including SNAP, P-EBT and Double Up Food Bucks. Senior Market FRESH and WIC Project Fresh will also be accepted as these programs roll out later this summer. Hoophouses for Health will not be accepted, as this program is currently incompatible with the online market.
There is a $15 order minimum and $5 order fee to help cover administrative costs and supplies. These terms are waived for customers using food assistance as it is illegal to use food assistance funds for anything other than food. To waive these fees, food assistance customers need to register accordingly using the prompts on the Online Marketplace when creating a customer account. Use the promo code EATLOCAL to waive the $5 order fee.
“It is important that our community has safe access to fresh, local, nutrient dense food during a global pandemic. We want to make sure we are creating a sustainable system that will allow us to continue providing this service to our community,” said Johnson.
To learn more about the Online Marketplace or to place an order please visit www.mqtfarmersmarket.com. To stay up to date with market happenings follow the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market on Instagram, @mqtfarmersmarket or at www.facebook.com/mqtfarmersmarket.
For more information about the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market, please contact Sara Johnson, Market Manager at (906) 362-3276 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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