Nourish Knoxville’s COVID-19 Response & Resources
*Last Updated: 9/17/2020
Nourish Knoxville is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak as it evolves. Please continue to check this page for the most up-to-date safety protocols in place at our family of farmers’ markets.
- If you are sick, a member of your household is sick, or have been exposed to (or suspects they have been exposed to) COVID-19, stay home.
- No pets. Service animals are permitted.
- Enter and exit our markets through our dedicated entrances and exits so that we may keep an accurate count of patrons within our market footprint to allow for adequate social distancing.
- Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering the market, regularly during your time at the market, and then again upon exiting the market footprint. We have a handwashing station and hand sanitizer stations at Mary Costa Plaza. We have hand sanitizer stations and an indoor restroom facility with running water for handwashing at New Harvest Park.
- Practice “social distancing” – maintaining a space of six feet from each other – markets will have signage reminding customers of the practice as well as chalk marks in front of vendor’s booths, showing 6’ spacing.
- Onsite consumption of food or drink is not allowed (including food/drink purchased onsite). All ready-to-eat foods will be offered as take-away only. Wash your produce and wipe down any packaging with a disinfectant when you get home.
- Face coverings are essential in preventing/reducing the spread of COVID-19. Until further action by Nourish Knoxville, all guests visiting a Nourish Knoxville farmers’ market are required to wear a mask or face covering (a) within the farmers’ market footprint, and (b) within the indoor restroom facilities at the New Harvest Farmers’ Market. No pubic restrooms are available at Mary Costa Plaza. All masks and face coverings must cover the nose and mouth in accordance with the CDC recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings.
- Note: This requirement does not apply to children under the age of 12 or to individuals who are unable to wear a face-covering due to a documented medical condition.
- Keep your market visit simple and short; buy what you need and do not linger, socialize, or congregate in the market space.
- If possible, send only one shopper per household in order to more effectively maintain distance. Market staff will be monitoring the number of people within the market footprint and will move to one-in-one-out entry when capacity is reached.
- Pre-ordering directly with vendors is strongly encouraged to limit your time spent at the market. Curbside delivery of pre-orders will be available by calling 865-805-8687, ext. 1 upon arrival.
- Customers will not handle items on the vendors’ tables. They will order verbally, and vendors will bag their purchases. Vendors will have their booths arranged to prevent customer contact with products and have signage explaining the policy.
- Customers are not permitted within the vendor’s booth. A vendor’s booth is the 10′ x 10′ space (often covered with a canopy) in which their purchasable product is stored and displayed.
- Customers are encouraged to use contactless payment options at the market such as PayPal and to place pre-orders with individual vendors. If preorders cannot be placed, we encourage guests to shop using minimal-touch systems such as Square, Apple Pay, etc. Cash can be accepted by vendors who have an approved non-recirculating system on file with Nourish Knoxville but is STRONGLY discouraged.
- All product sampling has been suspended.
- If a vendor is sick, a member of their household is sick, or has been exposed to (or suspects they have been exposed to) COVID-19, they will not be able to attend the market.
- All vendors must wash/sanitize hands frequently and after each transaction throughout market. At Mary Costa Plaza, vendors will have access to a handwashing station and hand sanitizer within the market footprint as well as access to indoor restrooms with running water where hands can be washed. At New Harvest Park, vendors will have access to hand sanitizer within the market footprint as well as access to indoor restrooms with running water where hands can be washed. Vendors are strongly encouraged to have their own hand sanitizer at their booth.
- All product sampling has been suspended.
- No food preparation is permitted on site. All prepared foods must be ready to take away to eat off-site. If shoppers purchase ready-to-eat food, vendors/staff will ask them to eat it at home and not in the market space.
- Face coverings are essential in preventing/reducing the spread of COVID-19. Until further action by Nourish Knoxville, all vendors participating in a Nourish Knoxville farmers’ market are required to wear a mask or face covering (a) within the farmers’ market footprint, and (b) within the indoor restroom facilities at each Nourish Knoxville farmers’ market. Face shields are permitted in addition to a cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth. Face shields alone are not acceptable forms of face-covering unless you have a documented medical condition. All masks and face coverings must cover the nose and mouth of the vendor. Face coverings are to be worn by vendors within the farmers’ market footprint at all times except for the following:
- Vendors may remove masks for eating and drinking. Eating and drinking must take place outside of the farmers’ market footprint or at the back of the business’s booth when stepping out of the farmers’ market footprint isn’t possible. Food and beverages must be in resealable containers or have a lid and straw if they are to be consumed within the vendor’s booth and cannot be stored on surfaces that hold purchasable product. All vendors must wash or sanitize their hands immediately after each time they consume food or beverages (these are the same requirements of the Knox County Health Department for foodservice businesses, regardless of COVID-19);
- Vendors may be exempted from this policy by Nourish Knoxville due to a documented medical condition. Vendors with documented medical conditions will be addressed on an individual basis and will be afforded all protections and safeguards under federal and state law;
- Vendors may remove masks during set-up and break-down of their booth materials (hours vary depending on market). If opting to set-up/break-down without a mask, you must maintain adequate social distance (6 feet) from fellow vendors, customers, Nourish Knoxville staff, and volunteers.
- Nourish Knoxville will be enforcing proper face covering-etiquette, as described by the Centers for Disease Control (securely covering the nose and mouth). For more information, follow this link.
Booth Display & Sanitation
- Booth spaces, whether bound by a canopy or not, where purchasable product is stored (including vehicles and trailers) should not be accessible to guests at any time. How you exclude guests from your booth space will vary based on location. Barriers can be rope, caution tape, empty tables and crates, vehicles (or your neighbor’s vehicle!), bike racks, tent sides, plexiglass panels, etc. Beginning September 9, 2020, any booths NK staff deems insufficiently “roped-off” from customers will receive caution tape in areas needing improvement.
- Tablecloths are permitted assuming they have been washed/sanitized before market.
- Purchasable product must remain out of reach of guests at all times. You are able to do this in the following ways:
- Back of the booth: Purchasable product is displayed on a table at the back of your booth. You have a barrier across the front and sides of your tent. This barrier can be rope, caution tape, empty tables and crates, vehicles (or your neighbor’s vehicle!), bike racks, tent sides, plexiglass panels, etc. You stand within your booth (in front of the product) and serve your customers.
- Empty table(s) as a buffer: You have empty table(s) at the service-side(s) of your booth (at least 2’ in depth), acting as a barrier. The sides of your booth are blocked off with rope, caution tape, empty tables and crates, vehicles (or your neighbor’s vehicle!), bike racks, tent sides, plexiglass panels, etc. Immediately behind the empty table(s) at the service-side(s) of your booth are table(s) filled with purchasable product. A string accompanied by prominent signage that says something to the effect of “DO NOT TOUCH PRODUCT” must run the length of the service-side of your booth at or near eye level of customers.
- Note: your empty tables can act as service tables where your cash receptacle can live, or your touchless/minimal touch payment system can live, along with any informational signage about your business or products!
- Rope-off & recess tables: The sides of your booth are blocked off with rope, caution tape, empty tables and crates, vehicles (or your neighbor’s vehicle!), bike racks, tent sides, plexiglass panels, etc. Purchasable product is displayed on table(s) that are recessed from the edges of the vendor’s booth at a minimum of 2’ from any/all service-sides. A string accompanied by prominent signage that says something to the effect of “DO NOT TOUCH PRODUCT” must run the length of the service-side(s) of your booth at or near eye level of customers.
- Note: Signage may not be necessary depending on how far your tables are recessed.
- Display-product only: The sides of your booth are blocked off with rope, caution tape, empty tables and crates, vehicles (or your neighbor’s vehicle!), bike racks, tent sides, plexiglass panels, etc. You have a “display” table at the front of the service-side(s) of your booth space… if your display tables does not completely prevent customers from coming into contact with your sellable product, an additional barrier method (rope, etc) must accompany the display table to prevent customers from coming into contact with your sellable product. The display table does not need to be recessed since it contains no purchasable product (display product only) and would include sample products that could be seen up close but would not be offered for sale. Prominent signage that says something to the effect of “DISPLAY ONLY. PRODUCT NOT FOR SALE.” must accompany any display product.
- Vendors are required to bring sanitizing wipes or paper towels and a bleach/peroxide/alcohol sanitizing solution and wipe down their booth surfaces (tables, tent legs, POS systems, etc.) often throughout market.
Cash & Payments
- Vendors are only allowed to accept cash as payment if they use a non-recirculating handling method. All bills/coins are designated either “incoming” or “outgoing” and cannot be both. This allows all currency received from customers to be quarantined/disinfected for an appropriate time before going back out into the world.
- Cash being used for the till (outgoing) must come directly from the bank or has sat 72 hours since previously handled. Ie: if you have a Friday market and collect cash from customers, you cannot use that cash as in your till (outgoing) at your Saturday market the next day. If you had a Tuesday market, cash collected at that Tuesday market could sit for 72 hours without being handled and be ready for your cash box/till on Saturday.
- Vendors wishing to accept cash at market must submit their cash handling method for approval by NK staff.
- Cash handling method must be written (email, text, or typed/handwritten), dated, and signed by the owner/operator of the business.
- It is the responsibility of the owner/operator to convey the business’s safe cash handling practices to any/all market staff, employees, or volunteers.
- If your cash handling method should change, you are required to notify Nourish Knoxville and submit your new plan in writing.
- Vendors accepting cash at market must have one of the following safe handling methods in place:
- Dedicated payment acceptance staff: Have a dedicated staff member handle all monetary transactions. This staff member does not touch product. Should they need to touch product, they will need to wash their hands or sanitize their hands before handling product.
- Hands-free receptacle: Box, jar, bedazzled gift bag, etc. or something customers can put their cash in.
- Sanitize between transactions: Hands should be sanitized between touching anything coming in vs anything going out. When handling money (WIC vouchers, Nourish Kids Bucks, credit cards, etc), you must sanitize your hands with hand sanitizer after handling customer items OR you must put on a pair of disposable gloves. Then dispose of the gloves and handle the product as necessary.
Nourish Knoxville Expectations
In addition to all items listed under “Vendor Expectations”:
- Nourish Knoxville has redesigned booth locations to limit contact and still allow people to purchase from vendors. The space between vendors has been increased to 10’ to reduce crowding.
- Nourish Knoxville will be restricting access to the market area, creating one entrance and one exit to market so that we may control the number of shoppers in the market at one time.
- Only food, farm, and hygiene vendors will be present. No craft vendors will be participating.
- Market managers will enforce social distancing by placing chalk or tape marks at 6 feet intervals to help with line management at vendor tents and will remind shoppers throughout the market space.
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the market as well as an additional, portable handwashing station. Note: handwashing station available at Mary Costa Plaza only. The restrooms at the New Harvest Farmers’ Market are open and have running water for handwashing.
Services, Events, and Activities
- All special events and programming, including Nourish Kids Club (formerly POP Club) in-person activities, have been suspended until further notice. Farmers’ markets will be for food and hygiene product sales only. Nourish Kids Club will continue in a take-home format. For more information, click here.
- Nourish Knoxville will continue to offer SNAP & P-EBT processing and matching. Please bring your SNAP/P-EBT card to the information tent. To aid in processing, we will have extra gloves and hand sanitizer available for all to use.
- “vendor” is defined as the owners/operators, staff/employees, volunteers, and/or family members/friends present within the booth to work, to train, to volunteer, or to be supervised.
- “farmers’ market footprint” is defined as the location in which the farmers’ market takes place including walkways, booth spaces, vehicle/trailer spaces, and restroom facilities.
- “guest” is defined as a market customer or visitor who is not volunteering, working, or being supervised by Nourish Knoxville staff, volunteers, and/or vendors.
Find Local Food
- For information about which Nourish Knoxville markets are currently open, go to Farmers Markets.
- For information on pre-order, delivery, and CSA options, go to Buy Direct.
If able, please consider making a donation to Nourish Knoxville. Your donation helps Nourish Knoxville cultivate healthy communities by supporting relationships between local farmers, producers, and the public. Your support is more critical than ever during this uncertain time.