Though recommendations and regulations surrounding COVID-19 are evolving, it appears the Kamloops Regional Farmer’s Market will, at least based on a decision made now, be able to open next month.
There was word earlier this week that the City if Kamloops would suspend the annual outdoor market’s street permit until further notice.
“I'm glad that the city is recognizing the importance of local food, especially during such an extraordinary time,” Greg Unger, the market’s manager, told KTW.
The farmers’ market will move forward with certain stipulations on safety measures. Unger said what those are remains to be seem, noting measures will likely be similar to what the BC Association of Farmer’s Markets is recommending. This will likely include hand-sanitization stations, vendor stalls farther apart, no entertainment so shoppers don't linger and methods to keep shoppers at the designated social-distancing space of two metres (6.5 feet).
Unger is hopeful the market, downtown in the 200-block of St. Paul Street, will be able to open on the planned April 18 start date, but that has yet to be confirmed.
“The provincial health authority, the British Columbia CDC [Centre for Disease Control], have both said it’s fine for farmers’ markets to operate, especially since we’re providing food,” he said.
The market will likely at first be limited to products such as food, soap and other medicinal-type fare.
Unger said he is pleased to be able get fresh produce into the hands of locals, especially during a pandemic that has already seen some local grocery stores running light on supplies.
“I think the city made a good decision here,” he said.
“In times of crisis, it really highlights the effectiveness of local food systems in making sure that there’s enough food available.”