By Lyndsie Kiebert
As far as market seasons go, 2020 was a doozy.
In its attempt to accommodate local farmers and artisans — as well as the people who enjoy their goods — amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint made some major changes and navigated the uncertain climate week by week with safety as the top priority.
Market Manager Kelli Burt said that the season went well, “all things considered.”
“The community really showed up in so many ways to support the vendors at the market,” she said.
The market started out the season in the city parking lot on Church Street downtown in order to better accommodate social distancing between booths. Around mid-summer, the market moved back to its regular home: Farmin Park. Burt said shoppers took the changes in stride, and the market’s positive relationship with the city of Sandpoint made for a smooth transition between spaces.
Funding from the Bonner County Economic Development Committee and Community Assistance League also helped the market expand its offerings in 2020. A grant from CAL went toward the market’s Double Up Food Bucks program, which Burt said creates greater food access for families who need assistance.
“All in all, this year was a struggle for so many people, but to have our market sustain through it all and be supported by so many organizations and our community was truly heartwarming,” she said. “I can confidently speak for our whole membership when I extend a huge thank-you to every customer who showed up this season.”
Community members have one last chance to enjoy the market this year on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. — open an hour later than normal — in Farmin Park. The special Sandpoint Farmers’ Market Harvest Festival will feature a chance to win one of two gift baskets full of market goods. To earn a raffle ticket, drop off a food donation at the manager’s booth to benefit the Bonner Community Food Bank. Customers do not have to be present to win.
“We hope everyone will come out this Saturday and really show our vendors how much they are appreciated, drop off food for the food bank to help out families in need and wish your market friends a happy winter,” Burt said. “We already can’t wait for the 2021 market season.”
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