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National Farmers Market Week honors local food heroes

National Farmers Market Week honors local food heroes
Posted on 07/27/2020
National Farmers Market Week graphicNational Farmers Market Week (Aug. 2–8, 2020) is an annual celebration that highlights the important role farmers markets play in our nation’s food system. The Lenexa Farmers Market, now in its third year of operation on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, supports 31 local businesses and serves an average of 700 customers each week.

Farmers markets like ours allow new and small businesses to enter the marketplace and help nurture a customer base for with their locally raised, grown and made products. One example is Keri North’s new bakery venture: There’s No Place Like Home Bakery, LLC. She wasn’t ready to take on a full-time retail bakery and felt a farmers market was where she belonged. Today, Keri rents a kitchen space where she crafts delectable treats for hungry Lenexa Farmers Market customers.

Farmers market organizations are local food heroes

This year, amidst a global pandemic and nationwide unrest, Lenexa Farmers Market vendors have worked extra hard to adapt to the changing retail marketplace. Nearly half of our vendors now offer ways customers can preorder products for pickup at the Market. From online ordering and shipping to home delivery and curbside or on-site pickup, vendors have made their products more available than ever.

Farmers markets are safe

The Lenexa Farmers Market prioritizes the health and safety of our community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we require staff and vendors to wear masks (and strongly encourage visitors to do the same), offer hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer, have spread out vendors for social distancing, and put in place a one-way foot traffic pattern. Outdoor marketplaces like ours are deemed safer than indoor retailers due to unlimited air circulation, sunlight, and flexibility to adjust the layout.

Lenexa Farmers Market vendors are also continuing to learn best practices to make sure their products are as safe as possible for the end user.

Farmers markets are essential businesses

Unlike traditional grocery retailers, products from farmers markets go through just a few hands — the farmer or maker and yours! — before reaching your plate. They provide food at the peak of ripeness to our communities when conventional supply chains sometimes fail. Farmers markets also help make fresh food more affordable to those in need. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) customers can double their food dollars to get fruits and vegetables at the market.

Traditional retailer: From every dollar, 85 cents goes to marketing and distribution, and only 15 cents goes to the farmer. (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 2016)

Lenexa Farmers Market: 100% of what you buy goes to the farmer/vendor. Not only that, but 45% of vendors derive their sole income from the Market.

Traditional retailer: Average time since harvest is 13 days. Average distance products travel to market is 1,500 miles.

Lenexa Farmers Market: Average time since harvest or production is ½ day. Average distance products travel to market is 24 miles.

Shopping local for the win!

As a heartfelt thank you to our customers, Lenexa Farmers Market vendors are donating a variety of fresh and prepared products for a series of prize basket drawings during National Farmers Market Week. Learn how you can enter the drawings by visiting our information booth on Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or Saturday, Aug. 8, from 8 a.m. to noon. at the Lenexa civic campus. No purchase necessary. 

Published July 27, 2020