Saturday officially marks the first day of summer. The long-awaited date also marks the beginning of a beloved Bay View summer tradition. On June 20, South Shore Farmers Market will begin its 22nd season. Like most years, the weekly market will bring a large and eclectic group of vendors to South Shore Park to sell produce, meals, and other items.

However, with COVID-19 still spreading throughout the state and the country with no clear end in sight, the market’s return also comes with a list of new policies and safety guidelines that must be implemented in order to limit contact and prevent the spread of the deadly disease. Some of those changes include things like: no restroom availability, no live entertainment, no dogs, no picnic table or on-site dining, more space between tables, and mask requirements for vendors (and the reasonable request customers wear them as well). Customers are also required to use single-use bags (provided by the vendors) in addition to being asked to limit browsing time and practice proper social distancing. It’s also requested that only one member of a household attend the market.

It might not be back in the way you’re used to, but the South Shore Farmers Market is returning safer and more sanitary than ever before. Take a look at the customer and vendor guidelines below. And if you think you’ll have trouble putting on a mask following these fairly simple and absolutely reasonable policies, we suggest you stay home.

Customer Guidelines

In an effort to comply with safety guidelines, the market committee is hiring two additional market staff members to manage compliance requirements among vendors, customers, and volunteers. Customers are asked to follow the following compliance requirements:

• One person per household attend the market, please.

• No picnic tables provided as in prior years.

• All prepared food purchased at the market must be taken home and not eaten on site.

• Dogs will be prohibited.

• The 2020 market will operate by the motto: “We wear a mask for you and ask that you wear one too.” To carry this out, all vendors, staff, and volunteers will be required to wear masks to promote safety. All attendees are asked to wear a mask out of respect for the farmers and food producers.

• Customers will be required to practice physical distancing, whether walking through the market or while waiting in line at a vendor’s booth. Hand sanitizing stations will be provided within the market, and customers will be asked to be diligent in frequently cleaning their hands.

• Customers will not be allowed to touch any product before it is purchased. The vendor will place purchases in a single-use bag and will not be allowed to use any bag a customer brings to the market.

• SSFM organizers ask that customers limit browsing time and use the market as a product pick-up destination when possible. Customers are encouraged to limit their time at the market by pre-ordering as much as possible with those vendors providing that option. 2020 Vendor List.

• If a customer—or anyone in their household—is not feeling well, SSFM organizes ask that they please stay home. COVID-19 safety guidelines recommend that customers who have been sick must be free of fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), have improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and that at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Vendor Guidelines

• All vendors must operate 15 feet apart from one another and are required to wear face masks.

• All vendors and their employees who are ill are not allowed at the market. To screen for illness, vendors, volunteers, and staff will complete a weekly self-assessment checklist provided by Milwaukee County.

• At least two vendor employees must be at each vendor table, with one handling money and another handling produce or prepared food.

• Vendors must use barrier tables—an extra thee-foot-wide table that will be set up between the customer and the product.

• Customers should plan to put a cash payment on the barrier table and let the vendor pick it up. This limits the contact of the farm staff to prevent any possible transmission from or to customers.

• Only the vendor or their employee may handle the product before a purchase is completed.

• Single-use bags will be packed by the vendor.

• Vendors are required to clean/sanitize/disinfect surfaces including tables and tablecloths before the market opens.

• Vendors are required to regularly use hand sanitizer and single-use gloves where needed.

• Providing samples will not allowed.

• All prepared foods must be sold in “to-go” packaging.

Market Welcomes FoodShare

Market organizers announced that this year for the first time since its launch in 1998, SSFM will accept payments made with FoodShare benefits, Wisconsin’s version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The market is partnering with the Bay View Community Center (BVCC) to institute the program.

How it works:

Because many vendors don’t have the technology at their booth to process the card, SSFM will exchange FoodShare benefits for tokens. Customers will use their tokens to purchase eligible food items available through the Bay View Community Center.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.