Adjustments To Online Farmers Market To Expedite Pickup For Season’s Second Saturday

(BLOOMINGTON) – The Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market opened its online store today at 8 a.m. for the second week of the season.

Market customers may place orders until 325 orders have been placed (as per below) for pickup at Switchyard Park (1601 South Rogers Street) Saturday, April 11.

For the month of April, the City has transformed the physical market experience into an online shopping experience with a drive-through pickup in compliance with the current public health imperative for physical distancing while supporting the essential role the Farmers’ Market serves as a food provider in the local economy.  

No market products will be available for purchase on-site. 

During its first week of operation, the online market received 500 orders within 22 hours, totaling more than $33,000 in purchases.  The robust response resulted in distribution delays at the Switchyard Park pickup site that Market staff has been working to resolve in time for this Saturday’s market. 

In its second week of operation, Market staff has planned some significant changes to improve the efficiency of the drive-thru pickup process, including the following:

  • Reducing the number of customer orders that may be placed to a total of 325
  • Adding staff and volunteers outside to manage traffic and improve the speed of customer delivery to vehicles
  • Increasing distribution hours to a window from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday, with 60-minute time slots assigned by customer’s last initial, as follows: (8:30-9:30 A-B)—(9:30-10:30 C-F)—(11:00-12:00 G-K)—(12:00-1:00 L-P)—(1:30-2:30 Q-S)—(2:30-3:30 T-Z)
  • Developing a new system for labeling vehicles as they arrive to improve the efficiency of order delivery to vehicles
  • Packing orders at customer arrival to maximize product freshness (as such, customers should expect to wait for their order for around 15 minutes upon arriving)
  • Improving systems for sanitation & social distancing to protect customers, volunteers, and staff

Please visit the homepage of the Online Farmer’s Market website for more details.

The new system was improvised when the quickly evolving public health crisis threatened to eliminate the market altogether for the month of April.  Recognizing the essential role the market plays — as a food source, and a key component in our local food economy — multiple City departments collaborated to devise the online ordering and drive-thru pickup system within a matter of days.  

For customers who were unable to pick up orders last Saturday because of traffic issues, or who may have had items missing from an order, invoices should already have been adjusted or refunded.  Those customers may contact onlinefarmersmarket@bloomington.in.gov for errors that have not been corrected.  These adjustments will not affect payments to farm & food vendors. 

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