The Impact of Free Senior Center Farmers’ Markets During COVID-19
Volume 15, Issue 2 - December 2022
Editor: Linda Chalker-Scott
Free farmers’ markets were held at Salt Lake County senior centers to provide fresh produce to low-income and food insecure seniors during COVID-19. Master Gardener volunteers donated excess produce and were highly effective at packing and distributing food at markets. The farmers’ market program was adapted by moving markets outside during the pandemic to ensure the safety of seniors and volunteers. The farmers’ market program serviced 3,220 seniors with 17,000 pounds of produce during the 53 markets held in 2020 and 2021; the approximate market value of the donated produce was nearly $40,000. Direct-to-consumer dissemination enabled the program to reach target audiences without relying on third parties. The farmers’ market program provided healthy food and positive interaction which improved the lives of seniors disproportionally impacted by COVID-19.
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