(BLOOMINGTON) – With the recent mask mandate in place and students starting to return to Bloomington, there are a lot of changes in progress at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market.
The Farmers’ Market is classified as a “public gathering,” therefore officials are requiring that all staff, vendors, and customers wear their masks for the duration of their time spent in the Market and to maintain social distancing of six feet.
Effective Saturday, August 1, parking meters will once again run from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
The Farmers’ Market welcomes food stamp shoppers. Spend up to $27 in food stamps and get up to $54 in fresh, locally grown food per visit. That’s up to $27 worth of food for free.
The Bloomington Parks Foundation is continuing its support of the Double Market Bucks program by increasing the doubling amount of SNAP benefits at the Market from $18 to $27 per Market day for the remainder of the 2020 season./p>
How to Double Your Food Stamps at Market
- During Saturday Market hours, go inside City Hall to the counter where you see the “Use Your SNAP (food stamp) Card Here” sign. During Tuesday Market, go to the Market information table.
- Use your food stamp card to purchase as many Market Bucks as you like. Market Bucks are available in $3 increments, and can be used like cash to buy farm products from market vendors.
- Beginning in 2013, as long as funding is available, you can double the value of your SNAP (food stamp) purchase. For every $3 in SNAP (food stamp) benefits you exchange, we will give you $6 in Market Bucks!
- Draw up to $27 in SNAP (food stamp) benefits, and receive up to $54 in Market Bucks to buy fresh-from-the-farm, healthy, locally grown farm products at the Farmers’ Market.
What to do with Leftover Market Bucks
Keep your unused Market Bucks to spend the next time you shop at either the Saturday or Tuesday Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market. Market Bucks expire at the end of the calendar year in which they are purchased.
What you can buy at Market when you exchange food stamps for Market Bucks:
- fruits and vegetables
- breads and cereals
- meat and poultry
- dairy products
- jams and sauces
- maple syrup and honey products
- seeds and plants that grow food
- baked goods that are wrapped, labeled, and intended for home consumption
Stretch Your Food Stamp Dollars
- Buy in bulk at a discount and preserve by freezing, canning, or drying
- Buy when products are at the height of their season
- Buy seeds and starts and grow your own food
- Buy “seconds” when you don’t need perfect-looking food-e.g. tomatoes for sauce
How to get to the Farmers’ Market
- Access to the Saturday Market via Bloomington Transit is #2 West 11th St. via Showers Complex. The bus runs every 60 minutes on Saturdays. Call (812) 336-7233 or visit bloomingtontransit.com
- Access to the Tuesday Market at Switchyard Park via Bloomington Transit is #2 South Rogers/Countryview. Call (812) 336-7233 or visit bloomingtontransit.com
- On-street parking is available around the Market in metered spaces for $1 per hour, and in the Morton Street Garage at Seventh and Morton Streets (entrance is on Morton Street) for 50 cents per hour. Parking rules are enforced on Saturdays.
- Take the B-Line Trail to the Farmers’ Market Plaza next to Showers Common for Saturday Market, or to the Switchyard Park Pavilion for Tuesday Market.
Tuesday Market will now be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Shopping from 4 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. is reserved for high-risk populations.
The online Farmers’ Market is open Tuesdays from 6 a.m. to Thursdays at 11:59 p.m. every week. To order click here.
The Farmers’ Market Advisory Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 17 from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.