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Perry Farmers Market 2020 summer season to conclude on Sept. 24

Submitted by Perry Chamber of Commerce
Joyce Murdock buys produce from Geneen Tibben during the Perry Farmers Market on July 2. The 2020 summer season will come to a close on Thursday, Sept. 24.

PERRY – The Perry Chamber of Commerce will host the final weekly Perry Farmers Market of the 2020 Summer Season from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24 with vendors on 2nd Street in downtown Perry between Willis Avenue and Warford Street. That portion of the street will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 2 p.m., but one-way drop-off and pick-up traffic will be allowed from Willis Avenue to the alley adjacent to Josh Davis Plaza.

In addition to the usual fresh produce and baked goods, market shoppers can also select items from a pop-up of First Christian Church’s Clothes Closet in Josh Davis Plaza. Items on hand will include jackets, sweatshirts, hats and more. No clothing donations will be accepted during the Market, but may be delivered to the church during selected times. Contact (515)465-2215 for more information.

“We are working on a safe plan to reopen the Clothes Closet as soon as possible,” said Pastor Andrea Brownlee of First Christian Church. "But for now, we hope that this pop-up at the Farmers Market will help those in need prepare for cooler temperatures ahead.”

Market shoppers with vouchers for the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) are reminded that this Thursday’s Market is the last chance to use up those benefits with certified vendors at the Perry Farmers’ Market. Shoppers that receive SNAP benefits and may have received Double Up Food Bucks at Fareway are encouraged to use those coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables with any vendor at the Perry Farmers’ Market.

“We are so excited to finally be able to accept the Double Up Food Bucks,” explained Lynsi Pasutti, Executive Director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce and Market Manager of the Perry Farmers Market. “It took us almost the full season to get the Market certified with the USDA to accept SNAP benefits, including the Double Up Food Bucks with Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative. We had to turn a lot of those coupons away, so we hope shoppers have saved them and are able to use them at the final Market of the season.”

Other highlights of the 2020 Summer Season of the Market included a PHS Booster Club pop-up and monthly produce giveaways through the Perry Public Library’s Healthy Steps program. The program encouraged eating more fruits and vegetables by purchasing and giving away produce once a month. In total, almost $1,000 worth of produce – 36 dozen ears of corn in July, 3 pallets of watermelon in August and 8 bushels of apples in September – was given out to market shoppers through the initiative.

“We had a shorter season this year due to a delayed start to ensure we were taking the proper precautions against the spread of COVID-19,” Pasutti said. “But overall it was a huge success! The Market proved to be a much-needed outlet for the community, not only to access locally grown produce, of course, but also for a safe, outdoor activity amid so many event cancelations. It is exciting to think about what next season will look like, because despite everything, we have really done a great job of building up a solid foundation for the market to continue to grow in future years.”

More information will be released regarding occasional off-season markets, as dates are determined. In the meantime, Market shoppers are asked to provide feedback via an online survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/2020PerryMarket.

As a reminder, visitors to the Farmers Market are encouraged to stay healthy and help keep others healthy while at the market. This includes staying home when feeling unwell, maintaining 6 feet between other shoppers, wearing a face covering during the market, and washing or sanitizing hands before and after the market.

For more information on the Perry Farmers Market, visit www.perryia.org/farmers-market.html or contact the Perry Chamber of Commerce at (515)465-4601.