04/15/20 Board Meeting post.

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Dear Helena Farmers Market family,

Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. As many of you know our annual spring vendor meeting was set to take place on April 18, with the market opening the following weekend. In light of the global pandemic we cancelled our vendor meeting and have been deliberating over the best course of action going forward. We are deeply committed to the safety of our vendors as well as shoppers and the products they purchase. We are also dedicated to ensuring that our community has access to healthy, locally grown food. As such we will be modifying our operations this season in response to COVID-19.

With a tentative opening date of May 2nd, we will open a limited market in compliance with Governor Bullock’s Executive Orders and in cooperation with the local health department. This means that only vendors providing essential services will be allowed to attend. As of this time it is our understanding that produce, bedding plants, and prepared food falls under essential services. Cottage foods and hygienic products such as soap may also be allowed pending approval by the health department.

The market board and staff will be taking measures to maintain social distancing including limiting the number of people entering the market and providing cues for safe distancing between people within the market. We will be stepping up our sanitation practices and requiring that vendors do the same. The board has formed a special committee to come up with a plan for our modified market and we will be announcing more details very soon.

We will be voiding any checks we have received for reserved spaces (none have been deposited). Fees for this market season will be collected on a weekly basis.

Please stay tuned for more information; as the situation develops we will be communicating via our newsletter, on our website and on Facebook.

Thank you and we wish you all the best,

The Helena Farmers Market Board

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