By Amanda Ensinger
The Prairie Township Farmer’s Market will open from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, June 29 at the Prairie Township Community Center, 5955 West Broad Street.
According to Prairie Township Community Center Director Michael Pollack, the market will look a little different than previous years.
“Masks will have to be worn and we will have extra ones for people who don’t have them for free,” he said. “We also will have hand sanitizer and washing stations throughout the market and shoppers will have to point to the items they want, and the vendors will give them the products, they won’t be able to touch the products before purchasing them.”
Pollack said all the vendors will be six feet apart and there will be no special events.
“It really will be more food service focused and not about entertainment as it has been in the past,” he said. “People will come and get what they need and then leave; there will be no congregating for events like there has been in the past.”
In previous years, the market has served as a place for the community to gather, offering petting zoos, balloon animals and other fun activities for participants. This year, those events will not take place.
Another change this year is that the first half hour the market is open will be only for vulnerable populations, such as seniors or those with chronic conditions that make them more susceptible to the coronavirus.
The market has approximately 10 vendors that offer a variety of different products. Some of these vendors include Hoffman Farms, Al & Lu’s, Just for Fun, Quickie Dips, Made Without Grain, Holcomb’s Haven Homestead and Elfrink Farm and Produce. The market will also have food trucks, as they have had in previous years.
Other changes include that no pets will be allowed, no reusable bags, everyone must maintain six feet of distancing and vendors will select bags of products for you.
It will continue to accept SNAP and Produce Perks via the Ohio Direction Card. Shoppers will swipe their EBT card and be given tokens to purchase eligible items at the market. Produce Perks will double every SNAP dollar up to $20 to purchase fruits and vegetables.
Also, WIC FMNP coupons will now be accepted and only be valid for locally grown fruits and vegetables.
LifeCare Alliance Senior Coupons will also be accepted at the market at vendors Rusty Plow Farms, Kuhlwein’s Farm Market, Elfrink Farms and Produce and Hoffman Farms.
“The market will look different than in the past years, but we are really excited for it to open,” Pollack said. “We are not too concerned about having large crowds because people seem to come through the market anyway and we don’t get as crowded as other markets. We are sad we can’t have the special events we usually do, but we think this still be a great market.”