Vancouver farmer’s market bounces back from pandemic hit
As the Vancouver Farmers Market prepares to wrap up its regular season and head to its Fall Farmers Market, things appear to be bouncing back from the pandemic hit at one of the city’s biggest attractions.
After its most popular year in 2019, when around 420,000 people visited the market, the 2020 market has seen a significant decline due to the pandemic and its restrictions. The market has welcomed around 170,000 buyers so far this year and 195 small businesses have participated.
“Compared to last year, our customer base was 85,000 at this point in the season, or about half,” Jordan Boldt, executive director of the Vancouver Farmers Market Association, wrote in an email to The Columbian. . “There were at least two reasons for this. First, we were only able to open the market in May, 6 weeks later than usual, and second, when we opened we had capacity limitations that limited the numbers.
Boldt said 1,030 children have participated in the Market’s Produce Pal program. WSU Extension nutritionists organized market tours for 140 people in three languages.
The market also raised $ 241,593 in food access which was distributed to 3,792 SNAP customers, and 75 customers signed up to the Market Box program, a weekly box of local produce that customers can have delivered every weekend in their car.