LEAP Responds to COVID-19

Updated July 27, 2020

Given our mission to nurture healthy communities and resilient local food systems, LEAP is committed to serve the community’s food needs especially in these uncertain times, by providing (1) vital food access points for consumers and (2) consistent market outlets so farmers can afford to keep growing food for us all. In order to keep food moving from farm to table, LEAP is taking COVID-19 seriously and we have implemented measures to minimize exposure and risks for farmers, customers, and LEAP staff.

Until further notice, Grandin Village and West End Farmers Markets will temporarily function as a pre-order online marketplace with pick-up and delivery options. We now also offer limited on-site, walk-up shopping options as well.

All of our important community, farmer, and food-based work will continue, albeit with modifications. Now, more than ever, it’s important to support our local food system through LEAP’s Online Marketplace, Farm Share, and Community Gardens. For more information about our precautions and changes for each program, please click the links or see below. 

Please only rely on trusted sources for up-to-date health information; Virginia Department of Health and the CDC’s Coronavirus page both do an excellent job of providing relevant, accurate, timely info to the public. The local Roanoke City and Allegheny Health District Facebook page is also a great resource. Lots of resources from Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences (VDACS) about Covid-19 and food safety.

As this situation is constantly evolving, all information is subject to change. Please monitor our social media or reach out directly if you have time-sensitive questions or concerns. Local food is vital to the resiliency of our community food system and we’re committed to providing equitable access to quality food. At the same time, LEAP always keeps the health and safety of our community at the forefront of our decision-making. If you have questions, concerns, thoughts or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly.

LEAP ONLINE MARKETPLACE

LEAP is committed to maintaining and creating connections between local food producers and eaters. To that end, and in response to disruptions in our food system, LEAP has developed an online marketplace for local farms and food businesses

We offer two pick-up options each week. Make sure to select your chosen pickup location under My Membership (click the avatar button on the top right of the home page) – West End or Grandin Village! You can only shop from one pickup location at a time.

For Saturday pickup at the Grandin Village Farmers Market, you must place your order between Sunday and Wednesday. Saturday curbside pickup is from 8am until 12 noon, at 2080 Westover Ave SW, Roanoke; please enter from Grandin Rd., via the alley between the Roanoke Co+Op and Pinnacle bank.

For Tuesday pick-up at the West End Farmers Market (3 – 6pm, 1210 Patterson Ave. SW, Roanoke), you must place your order between Thursday and Saturday.

We also offer Tuesday home delivery within Roanoke city limits for a $5 delivery fee. If this delivery fee is a barrier, we’re glad to work with you. Simply purchase the “Home Delivery” item sold by LEAP. For Tuesday pickup/delivery, you must choose West End as your pickup location and place your order Thursday through Saturday.

If you are enrolled in Medicaid, WIC, or Medicaid, please reach out directly to us at info@leapforlocalfood.org to receive a 50% discount on your order (order must consist of at least one half (1/2) fresh fruits and vegetables by value).

Have a look through our online store and enjoy our selection of amazing local products!

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We’re working to roll out this resource on a short timeline, so that we continue to have a vibrant local food marketplace in uncertain times. We’re still working out some of the details and updating content on the platform; thanks for your patience as we work out the kinks.

FARM SHARE

Farm Share is still available! When you become a Farm Share member, you receive a weekly box of locally grown healthy foods AND support local businesses (our farmers!) whose livelihoods are being affected by Covid-19 and recent market closures.

We’ve made a few operational changes to reduce risk of exposure, but the Sharer’s experience will be largely the same. In fact, an aggregated CSA is a great option in times of uncertainty, for a few reasons:

  • All growers and staff are Food-Safety Trained and have always and will continue to prioritize food safety above all. We have instituted even more strict policies to address concerns about Covid-19. 
  • Sourcing is always local, and is decentralized on many farms. Foods travel short distances to reach Farm Share members, so there is less opportunity for transportation disruptions or delays.
  • Your Share is secured and guaranteed to bring your money’s worth by the end of the season. Dozens of growers supply this program, so you’ll always get plenty of variety and value in every box.
  • Your share of the harvest is dedicated to YOU! Your foods will not be out-of-stock.
  • Foods come directly to you from nearby sources, and are handled MUCH less by human hands than the average supermarket produce.
  • Farm Share pick-up sites are much less crowded than supermarkets.  Our “Quick in/Quick out” pickup system means we can manage necessary social distancing needs during this time. We will switch all pick up sites to pre-packed boxes instead of market style and are happy to facilitate “curbside pick up” for anyone interested.

COMMUNITY GARDENS

Gardens are open for the 2020 growing season! The schedule for reservations and opening dates is unchanged. Register at leapforlocalfood.org/gardens. Scholarships available.

Covid-19 Community Garden protocols,  implemented until further notice:

  • Don’t come to the gardens if you’re feeling sick, or suspect you may have been exposed to the virus. 
  • Please only work in your own garden plot, and respect the other spaces – don’t touch other plots. 
  • When you do begin gardening, please maintain all recommended actions by the CDC and local health officials to limit exposure, including social distancing. If the gardens are too crowded to maintain social distance at your plot and the community spaces, please come back another time
  • Gardens are closed to public visitors for the time being.
  • All gardeners must wear gloves when using equipment from the shed.
  • Please spray down the handles of each tool you use as well as any door knobs or other surfaces you touch. Sanitizer solution will be placed in each garden shed.
  • There will be no volunteer groups or volunteer days at this time. If you’d like to volunteer on an individual basis, contact us directly for a task list. 
  • All public and educational events have been suspended
  • If you need seeds, contact us directly. We plan to make boxes of seed packs that gardeners will be able access on their own at each garden. We’ll also provide sanitizer spray or wipes on site to wipe down seed box lids, etc. 


LEAP KITCHEN

The LEAP Kitchen is still open to members, with enhanced health, safety, and sanitization measures in place. All community/educational events or meetings are temporarily suspended. We are not conducting new in-person tours or orientations at this time.