HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Hancock County’s Farmers Market is up and running with a new drive-through system.
The market had been closed for five weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. The drive-through market is part of a plan to keep shoppers safe while giving them access to fresh food.
“The public wanted fresh vegetables, jellies, jams, beef and all that stuff," said volunteer coordinator David Kenny.
The threat of coronavirus made people air on the side of caution. Shoppers drove through the market to browse for groceries as vendors stood curbside.
“Nobody knew what to expect. We didn’t know if the people were going to come back. We didn’t know if the vendors were going to come back," Kenny said.
In March, farmers markets were deemed essential businesses by state leaders. The market hosted fewer vendors but saw great demand from customers.
“We can get out again and sell our honey and be around people. It’s great," said Mickie Fricke with The Bee Hive Local Honey.
”I’m surprised, there’s a lot of people coming out. I’m glad to see everyone coming out for this," said Ron Heinen with Bay Biscotti.
One customer said on a normal market day, it takes him just 15 minutes to shop. The change in format led to some delays for shoppers. A line of cars could be seen stretching from the Pavillion area to the venue’s entrance road. Many insisted on waiting because they felt the fresh goods were worth it.
“Today it took me 20 minutes before I even start the first stand," said the customer. “I like the good, fresh stuff; that’s why I come to the Farmer’s Market.”
Kenny said the drive-through is a temporary solution until the county’s Board of Supervisors decides to fully reopen the market.
“They accepted it and embraced it, and it’s a great thing. I think it’s a vital thing toward the citizens of Hancock County," Kenny said.
The Hancock County Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.