Yorktown Market Days moves to drive-thru operations

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Yorktown Market Days is moving to a drive-thru operation starting April 25. (WYDaily/Courtesy Yorktown Market Days)

Yorktown Market Days is coming up with creative solutions to reach the community amid social distancing guidelines created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The weekly event provides a location for local vendors, farmers and artists to sell their work and produce. But now that Gov. Ralph Northam has placed a ban on large gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the event has had to cancel or postpone many of its themed markets, such as the Go Green Market which was originally scheduled for April 11.

To make up for that loss, the market will start to operate through a temporary drive-thru model that offers customers and vendors the opportunities to sell and buy their products from a safe distance.

“This continues to be a stressful time for all of us. I would like to thank the Virginia Farmers Market Association for advocating for all markets and for the clear guidance,” said Mark Medford, manager of Yorktown Market Days. “Also, the detailed work and attention that state and local officials have given us should be commended. At the end of the day, we have developed a plan to get local product to the customer while keeping the safety and health of everyone a top priority.”

Starting April 25, the market will be available for pick-ups of pre-orders only. The market’s cashless model will be supported by advanced payments made through websites, social media channels and services such as Venmo and PayPal.

To find out which vendors will be participating in the market each week, customers can visit the Yorktown Market Days or Visit Yorktown Facebook pages as well as the Yorktown Market Days website which features a list under the tab “This Week at the Market.”

Vendors for the April 25 market will be announced on April 20 along with contact methods for each business.

Customers must follow strict social distancing guidelines and are required to stay in their vehicles. Vendors will be encouraged to wear protective equipment such as gloves and masks and vendor booths will be set up approximately 20 feet apart from each other.

Surfaces such as credit card swipes and cell phones that take electronic bank transactions will be regularly sanitized between purchases.

The market has also implemented a zero-tolerance policy for any symptomatic vendors and market staff members.

Yorktown Market Days regularly participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP as well as Virginia’s Fresh Match Program, which gives qualifying customers $1 for every dollar they spend on fruits and vegetables. In the past, customers participating in the program were limited to $100 but that limit has been temporarily waived so families can put as much money as they’d like toward produce.

The first drive-thru Market Days will be from 8 to 11 a.m. at the McReynolds Athletic Complex, 412 Sports Way in Yorktown.

For more information, visit Yorktown Market Days online.

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