The COVID-19 pandemic is having far-reaching repercussions on Ohio’s food and farm system.
Ohio’s Stay at Home Order—necessary to contain the spread of the virus—has resulted in lost and disrupted income for direct-market farmers, who already operate without the safety nets available to commodity farmers. Farmers’ market modifications, including pre-ordering and drive thru systems, have strained an already understaffed and underfunded farmers’ market system. Many of Ohio’s most vulnerable residents have had their access to much-needed healthy, local food limited by market closures and restrictions on online sales.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and other state leaders need to act now to make sure small and mid-size farmers, farmers’ markets, and families who rely on nutrition assistance don’t fall through the cracks, as we adapt to this crisis. We need a vibrant and just local food system now more than ever.
OEFFA, Produce Perks Midwest, the Ohio Farmers’ Market Network, the Ohio Food Policy Network, Summit Food Coalition, Countryside, and others are championing six important policies that will help keep family farms in business, farmers’ markets open, and Ohio’s families fed.