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The Great Barrington Farmers Market will open for its 30th season on Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its Church Street location.

Great Barrington Farmers Market to Reopen With Restrictions

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Great Barrington Farmers Market will open for its 30th season on Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its Church Street location in downtown Great Barrington. 

Berkshire United Way has awarded the market a grant allowing the continuation of the Market Match program. This program offers a dollar- for-dollar match on all SNAP, WIC Farmers Market Check, and Senior Farmers Market Check purchase up to $25 per customer per week. HIP benefits can be redeemed at five market vendors. 

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the market managers have taken into consideration recommendations and policies from local, state, and federal governments, as well as guidance from Mass Farmers Markets and The Farmers Market Coalition.

Restrictions are as follows:

• To reduce browsing orders should be placed ahead of time whenever possible. A full list of participating vendors and links to their pre-order pages can be found on the website.

• A special shopping hour for senior and high-risk Immunocompromised people will be available from 9  to 10 a.m. 

• All shoppers are asked to wear masks.

• There will be no eating or drinking at the market

• Dogs will not be permitted at the market

• There will be no public bathrooms, seating areas, or live music

• Shoppers are encouraged to use minimal cash 

• There will be only one entrance to the market and the number of customers allowed in will be limited.

• Please only send one member of your household to the market whenever possible 

• Please make safe health choices. Do not come to the market if you are sick or have been sick in the last 14 days.

Others farmers markets will be operating in different ways across Berkshire County:

• The Pittfsfield Farmers Market is operating a virtual market and taking weekly orders for delivery. Information here.

• The Wiliamstown Farmers Market has developed an eCommerce platform to connect shoppers with farmers and food vendors. WFM-E! will offer contact-free ordering and payment, a central pickup location, and delivery for those who are unable access transportation. Information here.

• The North Adams Farmers market is also taking online orders for delivery and pickup. Information here.

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Biz Briefs: Wheeler & Taylor Insurance Donates Masks, Face Shields for Poll Workers

Facemask, shield donation

Charles Burger, director of the Southern Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee, was struggling with how he could help local towns obtain the personal protective equipment they need to protect poll workers from coronavirus. Many of the 12 towns in the region will hold town elections soon. Several town administrators asked Burger, who is also the Great Barrington fire chief, for help in getting PPE. But that was problematic because the committee is charged with helping emergency responders in the region.

But then, unexpectedly, Scott Rote, president of Wheeler & Taylor Insurance, called him. Rote wanted to donate 2,000 surgical masks the insurance agency had purchased and then took it a step further. Rote had procured foam, elastic strapping material, and 200 sheets of polycarbonate plastic, and the staff of Wheeler & Taylor went to work constructing face shields as PPE. "It was quite a pleasant surprise when Scott called,” Burger said. “The donation came at a perfect time. It would have been a very difficult need to fill otherwise."

The face shields will be used by poll workers. Facemasks will be provided to poll workers and to ensure that all voters have proper facemasks on. Burger will allocate the PPE to the 12 towns in southern Berkshire County — from West Stockbridge and Stockbridge down to the Connecticut border. Egremont and Sheffield have elections coming up soon, and other towns will soon follow.

After the face shields are used for elections, they’ll be cleaned and repurposed afterward, Burger said. Wheeler & Taylor will unveil further COVID-19 charitable initiatives in the coming weeks. More information can be found online.

Established in 1871, Wheeler & Taylor Insurance is a full-service independent agency that is headquartered in Great Barrington with branch offices in Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Dalton, and Sheffield.


Restaurant gift certificate auction

Bon Appetit Berkshires is an effort to support restaurants in and around the southern Berkshires. Community members will buy gift certificates from participating restaurants and donate them to Bon Appetit Berkshires for an online auction that runs from Monday, May 25, through June 2 on the Bidding for Good platform. All proceeds from the auction will go to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, co-led by Berkshire United Way and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Recipients of the funds have included Berkshire Health Systems (Fairview Hospital), The People’s Pantry, Construct and VIM, among others. Gift certificate purchases will benefit human services organizations that have deep roots in the community and experience working with vulnerable populations

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