The online ordering page for the Iowa City’s drive-through farmers market went live at noon on Monday. Shoppers can choose from hundreds of items from 22 vendors that they will be able to pick up during the market’s first session on Saturday at the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp.
In addition to the fresh fruit, vegetables and meat, there’s also an array of jams, jellies and spices, as well as baked goods — from banana bread to cherry pie — and frozen yogurt. A wide variety of plants are also available.
“This is just the beginning- new vendors will be added throughout the season. New products will be added as they become available!” market organizers said in an email.
This new type of farmers market is the result of a partnership between Iowa City Parks and Recreation and Field to Family, the Iowa City-based nonprofit that helps connect people in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area with locally produced fresh food.
Iowa City Farmer Market Coordinator Tammy Neumann told Little Village last month that the city wanted to launch a market with online ordering and no-contact pick-up as way of making sure people have access to fresh food, and local farmers have a place to sell their goods, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online ordering is being done through Field to Family’s website. Market staff and volunteers will load the order into the customer’s trunk or backseat when they arrive on Saturday for pick-up.
Current plans call for the in-person Iowa City Farmers Market to reopen on July 4, with certain changes in place to promote social distancing and help limit the spread of COVID-19. Even after in-person shopping returns, the drive-through option will continue.
“It would give these vendors another outlet to sell their product,” Neumann said. She added it would also provide a shopping option for people still apprehensive about public gatherings.
Volunteers are still needed to help sort the orders and load them into people’s cars on Saturday.
“Volunteers will be asked to bring their own face mask, (we have extras if needed) and adhere to strict health and safety requirements,” organizers said. “Screening will be required before volunteer shifts and we ask that you take universal infection control precautions.”
Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up through the Field to Family website.