LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette Farmers' Market leaders are working toward getting back to functioning at full capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saturday, Jun. 13 kicked off Stage 3 of the market's plan toward fully re-opening. Some lifted restrictions include allowing bakery, beauty, and hot-food vendors to participate again. There are still restrictions on what kinds of foods hot-food vendors can prepare. Market Manager Rebecca Jones said prepared food must stick to a certain menu and cannot be custom made in order to avoid people having to stand and wait in line.
On Saturday, Jun. 20, the market will be offering events like a mobile blood-drive and "Free Corn" Day sponsored by MetroNet Fiber. The first 100 families will get ten ears of corn. The market will also be offering free 2% gallons of milk to families during the entire month of June. This is in partnership with the USDA.
The market has seen a bit of an influx in shoppers each week according to Jones. She said this Saturday brought the largest influx they've seen since opening for the season on May 2. As the market continues slowly lifting restrictions, Jones said safety will continue to be at the forefront.
"We'll still see the social-distancing in effect, we're still going to have our masks for our patrons, and then mandatory for our vendors at this particular moment," said Jones.
She said overall the community has been receptive to the market's new regulations.
"Everybody has been very open and understanding of the certain guidelines that we've had in place," said Jones. "They've wanted to stop and learn more, we've had many discussions with community members who are interested in what's going on and what's being done to keep people safe."
Jones said there were around 700 people who came to shop Saturday. The busiest hours were between 9:30 a.m - 11 a.m. the market's operating hours are from 8 a.m. to noon.
Jones said they're working toward functioning at full capacity by Jul. 4. You can keep up with the Farmers' Markets updates here.