As sources of healthy food to communities, farmers’ markets in Connecticut are considered essential businesses and therefore are opening for the 2020 market season. But what does this mean to shoppers and the overall farmers’ market experience? Being outside, farmers’ markets give shoppers the opportunity to shop for healthy foods, support the local food system and practice social distancing. The farmer-to-consumer chain also limits how many people handle food, possibly making it safer than grocery store produce, and ensuring that your food stays fresher longer. Not to mention, shopping at farmers’ markets supports a local food system with funds going directly to small farms.
Some farmers’ markets are going above and beyond to make their food safe and available to at-risk communities and those feeling COVID’s impact on food security. Some farmers’ markets are doubling SNAP benefits through matched donations or the Double Value Coupon Program, and offering call-ahead ordering in order to continue providing healthy and affordable food to their communities. Connecticut has a set of guidelines for farmers markets to follow in order to operate safely, including information for farm vendors and market managers.
New Haven County
CitySeed Farmers’ Market – New Haven
Conte West Middle School
511 Chapel Street, New Haven
Whalley Avenue & West Rock Avenue, New Haven
At the start of the season, CitySeed offered a special pre-order only market. Now that the season is in full swing, City Seed has two locations in New Haven that accept pre-orders, reservations or walk-in customers. The Wooster Square market reserved the first hour and a half (from 9am-10:30am) to pre-order customers, and the Edgewood Park market reserved the first hour (10am-11am) for pre-orders. Check out City Seed’s tips for a safe, socially distant market.
CitySeed accepts SNAP and is doubling each SNAP purchase (part of the Double Value Coupon Program (DVCP)). If you are using SNAP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify them you’re using SNAP and, if possible, include who you order from and how much each order is. Please also notify each vendor. Please refer to the what-to-expect guide to learn more about how CitySeed is accepting SNAP.
Meriden Farmers’ Market
The Meriden Green
Mill Street (between State Street and Pratt Street, Meriden
The Meriden Farmers’ Market will operate according to the safety guidelines, enforcing face masks and social distancing, and restricting shoppers from touching produce themselves. The market accepts and doubles SNAP, and accepts FMNP vouchers.
Bridgeport Farmers’ Market Collaborative
- St Vincent’s Farm Stand (2800 Main Street, Bridgeport. Tuesdays, 11:30am-4pm starting July 7)
- East Side Market (752 East Main Street, Bridgeport. Wednesdays, 10am-2pm starting July 8)
- Downtown @ McLevy (Bank Street at McLevy Green, Bridgeport. Thursdays, 10:30am-2pm starting July 9)
- Green Village Initiative Reservoir Community Farm Stand (1469 Reservoir Avenue, Bridgeport. Saturdays, 10am-2pm starting June 29)
- East End NRZ Market and Cafe (30 Florence Street, Bridgeport. Sundays, 10am-3pm starting July 14)
- Stratfield Saturday Market in Clinton Park (Clinton Park at the corner of Brooklawn Ave and North Ave, Bridgeport. Saturdays, 9:30am-1:30pm starting June 20)
- Yale New Haven Health Bridgeport Hospital (267 Grant Street, Bridgeport. Thursdays, 3:30pm-6:30pm starting July 11)
- Farmers’ Market of Black Rock (481 Brewster Street, St. Ann’s Church field, Bridgeport. Saturdays, 9am-1pm starting June 20)
The Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative operates in 8 locations in Bridgeport. All markets in the collaborative accept SNAP, WIC and SFMNP checks as well as Bridgeport Bucks. The markets are offering a SNAP double incentive so that for every $1 in benefits used, $1 is matched for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. Each market is accessible by bus (find bus routes on each market’s website).
Danbury Farmers’ Market
Danbury Railway Museum
20 White St, Danbury
Starting June 19
The Danbury Farmers’ Market will open on June 19 for the season. Masks will be required, and social distancing will be enforced. If possible, please shop alone and use a debit or credit card. SNAP benefits will be doubled, and purchases with FMNP and WIC will be matched up to $9.
Forge City Works – Farmers’ Market
539 Broad Street, Hartford
Starting June 4
Forge City Works will continue providing fresh, local food to Hartford starting on June 4. They’re part of the Double Value Coupon Program (DVCP), “a national non-profit program that provides customers with an incentive to spend their SNAP dollars at farmers markets by doubling the value of SNAP they spend on produce.” They are matching SNAP benefits up to $20. The farmers’ market is following all of Connecticut’s safety measures, and requires shoppers to wear masks, keep their distance and refrain from touching food.
Knox Frog Hollow Farmers’ Market
Dirt Lot – 75 Laurel St., Hartford
Knox’s Frog Hollow Farmers’ Market will be following Connecticut’s safety guidelines by pre-packaging produce, providing handwashing stations and doubling up on folding tables to account for more space.
New Britain Downtown Farmers’ Market
Downtown Central Park, New Britain
Starting July 1
The New Britain Downtown Farmers’ Market accepts SFMNP, WIC and SNAP, and will be doubling SNAP benefits. Participating vendors will only allow 2 shoppers at their table at a time. In accordance with Connecticut’s safety guidelines, shoppers are required to wear masks, and keep six feet of distance (which will be marked on the ground) between one another.
North End Farmers’ Market
North End Senior Center
80 Coventry Street, Hartford
Starting June 24
The North End Farmers’ Market runs on Wednesdays from June through October. The North End Farmers’ Market accepts SNAP and offers incentives, like double dollars. Visit the market in front of the North End Senior Center near the Tower Ave. and Coventry St. intersection. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines, and wear a mask while shopping.
Promise Zone Community Farmers’ Market
1229 Albany Avenue, Hartford
The Promise Zone Community Farmers’ Market features fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs from Hartford’s community of urban growers. Find fresh foods from Samad Gardens Initiative, Keney Park Sustainability Project, Micro 2 Life and more. The Promise Zone Community Farmers’ Market accepts and doubles SNAP up to $20 as a part of OH SNAP! Hartford.
West End Farmers’ Market
385 Farmington Avenue, Hartford
Starting June 2
Hartford’s West End Farmers’ Market is following the USDA, state and local guidelines for operating a socially distant farmers market. Shoppers must wear masks and should ask for assistance when shopping to limit touching items. Hand washing stations will be available. There will be no picnicking allowed this season. The West End Farmers Market accepts WIC and SFMNP vouchers, and is doubling SNAP benefits up to $20.
New Milford Farmers’ Market
New Milford Town Green
The New Milford Farmers’ Market is operating following CDC social distancing guidelines. Shoppers should wear masks and observe six feet of distance between each other and vendors. Vendors will each have instructions to shop with your eyes first. Hand sanitizer and hand wash stations will be located throughout using Litchfield Distillery hand sanitizer. SNAP benefits are doubled at the market for fruits and vegetables.
Middletown Farmers’ Market
Union Green (South Green)
The Middletown Farmers’ market kicks off this season on Friday, July 17, 2020 at 10am. The market will adhere to guidelines provided by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, enforcing social distancing and mask wearing, and providing directional arrows and hand sanitizer. The market accepts and doubles SNAP, WIC and Senior Vouchers up to $40 a month.
New London County
New London Field of Greens Farmers’ Market
- Williams Park Market (Fridays July 3, 3pm-6pm)
- L + M Hospital Market (Wednesdays starting July 1, 3pm-6pm)
New London Field of Greens Farmers’ Market is accepting WIC and SFMNP vouchers, and provides a bonus $5 for every $5 (or more) spent using SNAP/EBT. Both market locations are following CDC, state and local guidelines for operating a farmers’ market safely during the COVID emergency.
Ellington Farmers’ Market
Ellington High School
37 Maple St, Ellington
The Ellington Farmers’ Market encourages shoppers to pre-order and pre-pay using Venmo or PayPal to ensure minimal vendor-shopper interactions. If cash is necessary, the market also encourages using small bills to encourage exact amounts. The farmers market is also matching SNAP benefits up to $20. The market’s SNAP matching program, and other educational programs offered, are donation funded.
Willimantic Farmers’ Market
At Jillson Square Park.
The Corner of Jackson St. & Main St, Willimantic
The Willimantic Farmers’ Market is open for 2020, enforcing social distance rules and mask wearing. Separate entrance and exit will direct people through the market so there’s one direction of traffic through the market. Some vendors are offering pre-ordering and contactless payment. The Willimantic Farmers’ Market accepts WIC and SFMNP checks, and is doubling SNAP benefits.