Update: The Regina Farmers' Market's Response to the COVID-19 Virus
March 18, 2020
RE: The Regina Farmers’ Market Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
On behalf of the Regina Farmers’ Market Co-operative (RFM) Board of Directors, I would like to take a moment to update the public about our organization’s plan for the future.
The Regina Farmers’ Market has been bringing local producers and customers together since 1975. At present we’re in unfamiliar and unchartered territory. In the 45 years we’ve been operational in Regina we’ve never seen a global pandemic of this magnitude. Although this is hitting close to home, rest assured that we remain committed to providing our customers and the citizens of Regina with clean, healthy, local food and essential groceries. Now more than ever! The RFM is a crucial part of the local food system that must continue and be maintained in a time of global uncertainty.
We’ve been watching it all right along with you. We’ve seen the rapid outbreak of the COVID-19 virus as it tore through the world and then more recently in our province and our city. On Monday, the RFM learned that the City of Regina has closed the Core Ritchie Neighbourhood Centre until March 31 (possibly longer) in an effort to “flatten the curve”. We completely support their efforts. That said, without an indoor market venue to host our markets, what are we to do?
At this time, to ensure safety we are not able to host the style of market to which we’re accustomed. For the safety of RFM vendors, staff, customers, and the larger community we have decided to “press pause” on indoor markets. The RFM will not set up on Saturday, March 21 and Saturday, March 28 in line with the City of Regina’s closure of our indoor facility. In two weeks time we are confident that we’ll have a new perspective on the situation and be prepared to resume offering the essential groceries that you count on. Please read on—we’ve got a plan, folks!
During our two-week hiatus, our skilled and passionate staff will be working from their homes, planning and building a framework for the RFM to continue whether or not we are able to safely set up market-style in April. We’ll be investigating everything from online ordering platforms to possible temporary venues. We have always been a strong link between producers and customers, and we know you need us now more than ever. And the reality is, the small business owners that make up the RFM also desperately need you to be able to continue!
While we’re reorganizing and preparing behind the scenes, we’ll also be managing a live vendor directory so we can connect you directly with vendors who are still operating. Vendors have told us that they currently have meat, eggs, carrots, and potatoes available plus much more. Some are offering delivery options as well, and we will note that in the directory. We will begin to populate the list on Wednesday morning. Please check back often for the most current information available. Please see our website here: https://reginafarmersmarket.ca/pages/live-regina-farmers-market-rfm-vendor-directory.
Truly, in a time of great uncertainty and with so much unknown it’s easy to feel despair and fear. We are choosing to see this an opportunity to come together and build our community in ways we’ve never seen before. Our community is stronger together. But first, let’s hunker down at home with our families and stay healthy and safe!
Regina Farmers’ Market Co-operative
[email protected] (306) 209-1130