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Local Foods & COVID-19 Resources

As we navigate the challenges of COVID-19, local farms and food businesses* are working hard to provide safe food to their consumers. Our food system is strong and dynamic. As they fulfill this essential role, they face unique challenges which could change at any moment.
 
Our team has created programs and resources to stay connected with our local farms and food businesses. The Local, Regional and Safe Foods team is here to:
  • share research based information;
  • help clarify rules, regulations, policies, and recommendations;
  • provide an opportunity for learning from others during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
See below for a list of these programs and resources.
 

*Food Businesses include farm stands, farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, restaurants, small grocers, food trucks, Arkansas-made food manufacturers, and cottage food producers

Screenshot of the Fall Farm Activity Guidelines & COVID-19 Resource


Fall Farm Activity Guidance & COVID-19

Each fall, many farms host a variety of activitie
s including corn mazes, wagon rides, and pumpkin
 patches. These beloved activities generate a
 large percentage of annual income for farms in Arkansas. The coronavirus has caused some hesitation, yet with preparation farms can remain open while managing risk.
American Society for Horticultural Science award seal
 
Our team at Extension has created a national award-winning resource on how to safely operate these activities this season. Updated for 2021, the Fall Farm Activity Guidelines & COVID-19, a collaboration with the Arkansas Agritourism Association and the Arkansas Department of Health, includes tips such as:
 
  • Providing all guests with hand sanitizer;
  • Disinfecting all commonly-touched surfaces;
  • Not allowing access to individuals who have been ill or in contact with an ill person within the past 14 days;
  • Communicating your COVID-19 policies to guests via website, social media, and signage at your farm;
  • Distributing masks or face coverings - be creative and add your farm name or logo!

Download your copy of our national award-winning Fall Farm Activity Guidelines & COVID-19 Resource here!


Local Foods Open Space Discussions

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team hosted periodic discussions with the local foods community in Arkansas. Participants represented many stakeholder groups of our local food systems:
 
  • Farms, farmers markets, CSA's;
  • small grocers, cottage food businesses, food stands;
  • farm-to-school programs;
  • restaurants, pop-up food shops, and other food businesses.
The discussions include short presentations on a timely topic followed by a Q&A. Click the "View Discussion Recordings" link below to browse the topics. Future discussions may arise as necessary, so please check back for more information.
 

Missed a previous discussion? Click the button below.

View Discussion Recordings


Arkansas COVID-19 Food Access Maparkansas  COVID-19 Food Access Map

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many aspects of life to change, finding local foods should not be a barrier. Farmers markets, farm stands, food pantries, and school meal programs are still providing local foods to Arkansans.
 
View the Arkansas COVID-19 Food Access Map for information on where to find local foods.

 

View AR COVID-19 Food Access Map 

Want to add a food resource to the map? Fill out this form


Other Resources by Local Foods Topic

Besides preventing the transmission of coronavirus, farms and food businesses are navigating workforce concerns, shifting markets, and production planning. We would like to share a few updates and resources to keep you informed and prepared. Click on the tiles below for more information on that topic.
 


Please reach out with questions to Extension's Local, Regional, & Safe Foods team members. 

UAEX Local, Regional & Safe Foods

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