Katherine Kelly's Statement in the KC Star on Farmers Markets and COVID-19


In a time when our lives are changing rapidly and everything feels uncertain, access to fresh, local food is more crucial than ever. We’re formulating plans with farmers, other organizations, farmers markets, and funders. We must continue to work together to insure access to local, fresh food continues to moves in the right direction.

We offer a few thoughts about how to support your health and the health of our food community in the coming months:

Use local farmers as a resource to promote good health. Farmers care deeply about the well-being of their customers, and their handling practices reflect that care. The people they feed are in their thoughts as they plant, tend, harvest, and distribute. Our New Roots for Refugees farmers have been trained in good food handling practices following USDA guidelines; most local farmers also follow those same protocols. The hands that touch the produce they sell are often no more than the hands of the farmer, their field crew, and the consumer.

What action steps can I take to help?

  1. Join a CSA– You will get a selection of fresh produce every week, with a variety of pick-up or delivery options to fit your needs. Use this button to find a farmer with open CSA subscriptions or market box options.
    KC Metro CSA and Market Box Farms
  2. Help your farmer help others– As you form a relationship with your farmers, talk to them about how your donation might help them to supply another family in need. If you’re connected to a social service agency that serves low-income clients, discuss how with your support, they might direct some of their food to those in need. New Roots for Refugees has a Share-a-Share option at their 2020 Farm Share signup!
  3. Continue to shop your local farmers market– Research the farmers markets that you normally shop, ask about changing operating hours, their practices to support social distancing and food safety, and how you can safely participate. Many markets are looking at on-line order and curbside pick-up; they will be posting information as their plans develop.
  4. Prioritize local farmers– Farmers are often low-income themselves and rely on produce sales as critical income. By this point in the season, they’ve already spent most of their budget for seeds, supplies, and soil amendments. They will be growing food. When you buy it from them, you get healthy food and support their families. Take this relationship seriously. Invest in your health and in them.

Cultivate KC and COVID-19 practical concerns:

Cultivate KC is taking every precaution to continue our vital services but slow the spread of COVID-19. Our employees continue to work remotely whenever possible. Our events and workshops have been moved online. We continue to be available via email or phone, so please contact us with your concerns.

New Roots for Refugees has also implemented new standards to keep farmers and their products safe. See them all here.