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Posted on: May 15, 2020

How to Get Fresh, Local Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Squash and tomatoes

There are many resources available to combat food insecurity, support local food and farmers, and to do both at the same time. Note: there are more resources available than listed here, as resources keep increasing and evolving.

Food Gatherers is the best place to start when looking for local food pantry, school meal, and SNAP information. Their Need Food page is kept up-to-date with local food pantries. Food Gatherers also has a special COVID-19 page, which includes school meal information. Additionally, Food Gatherers also has information about SNAP updates and how to apply for SNAP. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as the Food Assistance Program, Food Stamps, EBT, Bridge Card). Food Gatherers’s SNAP updates page also includes information about the Pandemic EBT, which is treated like SNAP and can also be used (like SNAP) to get Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB). DUFB is a way to spend SNAP/Pandemic EBT and to get that same amount FREE to spend on Michigan fruits and vegetables, and they are temporarily suspending their $20/day matching limit. Check out DUFB’s COVID-19 Resources page for more information.

Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic development also has a great list of food resources, as well as information on other essential resources.

Important note: Currently in Michigan, food assistance must be used in person (and not via online or via telephone payment). For example, people intending to use food assistance as their method of payment can order their food online, and then they would need to pay for their food in person at time of pick-up. Select Kroger and Walmart locations, as well as Ypsi Area Online Market, Chelsea Farmers Market, Ann Arbor Farmers Market, and Argus Farm Stop can process SNAP using this method for ordering (Ypsi Area Online Market, Chelsea Farmers Market, Ann Arbor Farmers Market, and Argus Farm Stop also can process DUFB). Additionally, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is still operational! Find Washtenaw County Health Department WIC updates here.

If you are interested in buying local food, there are several options:

  • Ypsi Area Online Market is an online market in collaboration between Growing Hope, The Farm at St. Joe’s, and Zilke Farm Kitchen. The Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace pick-up location can process SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks!
  • Chelsea Farmers Market is open for online ordering and curbside pick-up. They accept SNAP and DUFB.
  • Ann Arbor Farmers Market allows you to pre-order and pick-up with market vendors. They accept SNAP and DUFB.
  • Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor sells goods from local farmers and producers. Their Liberty location is open for retail shopping, and their Packard location is closed for retail but is processing online orders for pick-up (delivery is available to Ann Arbor addresses). Argus Farm Stop can process SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks!
  • Taste the Local Difference curates a comprehensive list of farmers and local producers. Search by Washtenaw County to see over 190 listings!
  • As farmers markets decide when/how they will reopen, the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) has a lot of fantastic COVID-19 resources for farmers markets/vendors.

Washtenaw County Health Department
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