Photo: Shelley Pauls | Unsplash

Uptown Farmers Market was supposed to have its spring debut on Saturday at 300 S. Davidson St., the 4.5-acre parking lot of First Baptist Church. However, with the city still sheltered in place, the 501(c)(3) organization will open as a virtual endeavor for customers to shop online and connect with vendors.

Its virtual launch is first in a three-phase opening for the producer-only market. Once the stay-at-home order is lifted, organizers will move to a social-distancing market at the physical location. Phase three occurs when the social distancing mandate is lifted. 

The market will play a role in addressing food access and food insecurity. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity in North Carolina is higher than the national average

During the farmers market’s virtual phase, shoppers can make $30 donations that will send a week’s worth of fresh produce to a local family in need. Additionally, the market will be one of the participating locations where low-income residents enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can stretch their money to purchase fresh food. SNAP users can double their spending, up to $20 per day per household when using their EBT card. 

At full scale, Uptown Farmers Market will be able to serve more than 110,000 residents who live within a three-mile radius. It’ll feature weekly music performances, cooking demos, gardening workshops, children’s activities and more.

For updates or information about becoming a vendor, visit

Dante Miller is a freelance writer who received her journalism and mass communications degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She loves music, reading novels and watching...