Grab your mask and head to downtown Champaign on Tuesday afternoons for fresh, local food
Since Urbana’s Market in the Square opened on May 2, we have had a couple of weeks to adjust to what farmers markets will look like in 2020 — essentially, they are now sites where shoppers can safely access locally grown, raised, and produced foods. Now we can look forward to attending another area farmers market. On Tuesday, May 19, the Champaign Farmers Market will open for the 2020 season.
The downtown Champaign market will still take place on Tuesdays — from May 19 to Oct. 27 — but with slight tweaks to both time and place. This year it will operate from 3-6 p.m. During May its location will shift south, to the Busey Bank parking lot at the corner of Neil Street and University Avenue.
Taidghin O’Brien, the marketing and communications manager at The Land Connection — the Champaign-based nonprofit that oversees the Champaign Farmers Market — said, “We will still have all of your favorite local vendors at the Market, including Sola Gratia Farm, Central Illinois Bakehouse, Meyer Produce, and Havilah Gardens Micro Farm.”
O’Brien also emphasized The Land Connection’s commitment to expanding access to fresh, local food. Shoppers with LINK cards can take advantage of a market program that doubles or even triples the value of these benefit dollars, making SNAP-eligible purchases significantly more affordable. If you plan to use a LINK card, simply visit the Market Tent (at the market entrance) in order to participate in the token/voucher system. (More details here.)
Earlier this spring, the Champaign Farmers Market partnered with Urbana’s Market at the Square to develop the common set of safety precautions that is governing the operation of both markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can review those guidelines here or check out this handy graphic:
Note that the Champaign Farmers Market is hoping to return to its normal location in City Parking Lot M (Neil and Washington) in June. [Update: the Market returns to its normal location starting June 9, 2020.] Watch for this and other market updates on the Land Connection website, or follow the Champaign Farmers Market on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you are interested in volunteering at the Market, email Market Manager Cay Diamond.