Mar 20, 2020
By Evan Wiig / Kali Feiereisel, CAFF
With the COVID-19 outbreak spreading and shelter-in-place orders coming down across the state, we at CAFF are working hard to keep our local food system running strong, our family farmers in business and our communities safe and healthy. It's in times of crisis that we recognize what truly is essential (local food, family farms, community) as well as who among us is most vulnerable, with food industry workers, immigrants and historically underserved farmers likely to be hit hardest by the economic crisis.
While confusion abounds during this ever-developing COVID-19 crisis, one thing is clear: a strong, healthy, local food system is absolutely essential during times like these. So what can consumers do right now to help assure that our family farms stay in business and the many people who comprise of our shared food system can weather this storm? From joining a CSA to ordering direct from farms online to making sure our most vulnerable have food, we've compileda few tips. Share them with your community!
With “shelter-in-place” orders multiplying, residents are being asked to stay at home and limit all but essential business operations. Thanks to recent advocacy, farmers markets have been deemed “essential” (just like grocery stores) in several cities and counties. Check the orders from your local government to determine whether your markets has as well. If not, please contact CAFF here.
But while many markets remain open, there are some important guidelines and best practices you should know about before heading to market.
As the full affects of Covid-19 continue unfolding, we at CAFF are watching closely to find out how this pandemic will impact California family farmers as well as farmers markets. However, one thing is clear: now more than ever, farmers markets are an essential public service that must remain open to keep providing locally-grown food, health and resilience to our communities.
With several cities and counties across California declaring “shelter-in-place” orders, residents are being asked to stay in their homes and limit all but essential business operations. Thanks to recent advocacy, farmers markets have been deemed “essential” (alongside grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.) in places such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Check the orders from your local government to determine whether markets in your neighborhood have likewise been correctly categorized as “essential” and if not, please contact CAFF here.
SOURCE: California Department of Food & Agriculture, Office of Public Affairs. Posted March 16, 2020.
SMALL BUSINESS IMPACT & ASSISTANCE
As food businesses shutter and cafeterias sit empty, many small businesses face economic hardship while employees lose much-needed work. The U.S. Small Business Administration is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans to CA small businesses suffering substantial economic injury. Meanwhile, California is also offering aid to affected workers, such as emergency unemployment.
Farm and business owners, please review THIS GUIDANCE from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on keeping your farm and crew safe.
BUYER / SELLER SUPPORT FROM CAFF
Are you in need of support to help sell, buy, or otherwise distribute local food in California as a result of impacts caused by COVID-19? For those who've lost vital sales accounts or are struggling to meet demand, please fill out our online form and someone from CAFF will try to help make connections. SING UP FOR SUPPORT
ON-FARM FOOD SAFETY DURING COVID-19
What does the COVID-19 virus mean for on-farm food safety? Check out the newest blog post from CAFF's Food Safety specialist, providing some tangible information to help answer your questions about the risks of this pandemic at the farm level.Read more:
Despite the chaos, right now there is a huge surge of interest in online ordering, home delivery and CSAs featuring healthy, local food. If you're curious about new models to help you better connect you with customers, especially if you've lost traditional sales accounts because of the crisis, check out these tips, resources and tools that we at CAFF have compiled to broaden your reach while keeping our local communities safe, fed and healthy.Read more
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