NewsCBS: Farmers Struggling As Restaurants, Farmer's Markets Close During Pandemic

Posted Apr 23, 2020

Reporting by CBS Chicago

This pandemic is hurting area farmers, not only those supplying tp restaurants, but those counting on farmer’s markets.

Abby Schilling owns Mick Klug Farm with her husband in St. Joe Michigan. She told CBS 2 that 50% precent of their business comes from restaurant customers in Chicago.

“This whole thing has the potential to put us out of business,” she said. “I like to think positively that hopefully it won’t but there is definitely that risk.”

Farmer’s markets are another source of revenue for farmer’s like Schilling that are closed.

Chicago’s Green City Market, which usually operates indoors right now before heading out next month, had to quickly change course.

“We quickly pivoted with what’s good to create an app, where shoppers can order from multiple vendors at once,” Melissa Flynn of Green City Market said.

The farmers, roughly 20-25 a week, are now all online. You place an order on the Green City Market website and the farmer’s deliver to a warehouse twice a week.

The orders are delivered to the customers’ door.

“Shoppers have been super supportive, we’ve had 5,200 people download the app but we are contained by capacity at are looking for a bigger space,” Flynn said.

Farmers are taking turns delivering.

“We want people to know our farmers have been here for generation and it’s really important that we support them,” Flynn.”