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Idaho Falls Farmers Market returns June 6, but it will be different thanks to COVID-19

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EastIdahoNews.com file photo of the market in a previous year.

IDAHO FALLS — With all the uncertainly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Idaho Falls Farmers Market hopes to give the community something to look forward to.

This year, the annual market will be held between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. starting June 6, and continuing every Saturday through mid-October.

The market is located in the same place on Memorial Drive, but patrons may notice some differences this year due to increased safety measures that are being put in place.

“We don’t want to be a problem, we want to be part of the solution,” Market Manager Junean Stoddard says.

She said the market will be spreading out vendors to encourage social distancing. Additionally, all vendors will be provided face masks, and multiple washing stations will be set up. Crowds will also be more organized into lines to discourage crowds in front of vendors.

Every week, the organizers of the market will analyze how they can help improve the market and safety for the next week.

Another difference this year isn’t related to COVID-19. For the first time, the market will accept Idaho Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, which can be swiped for tokens that can be used in the place of cash at market vendors.

Sponsors are also trying a “double-up bucks” program that will give those who purchase tokens a voucher to purchase additional fruits and vegetables from vendors for free.

“For a lot of vendors, this is their income, it’s not just a hobby. … I don’t think people realize the impact the farmers market has on these individuals who participate,” Stoddard says. “Some vendors in the market this year will (offer) online ordering and have ways to make it so the vendors can be contacted online. If you are not comfortable coming to a public event, there are still ways to contact them. … We are trying to keep that economy flowing for our vendors.”

Stoddard encourages the public to be patient with the changes as they work them out.

“We are really grateful for the people of Idaho Falls,” she says. “We are all looking forward to things looking normal, but in the meantime, we will do what we can.”

More information can be found on the website.

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