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If the thought of going grocery shopping gives you major anxiety right now, it’s not unwarranted. Coronavirus outbreaks have been reported at large grocery stores and mass food production locations like industrial meat processing plants throughout the US. Fortunately, many alternatives to large grocery chain stores exist with accessible shopping and delivery options that will get fresh, healthy food to your fridge. Check out these alternative options focused on whole foods and supporting local, state and regional organic producers.
As things warm up, many farmer’s markets are opening up again or coming outdoors, providing a more spacious shopping experience than going into a supermarket. The best resource for finding farmers’ market hours and locations throughout the state is Farm Fresh RI. You can search the site by food category, vendor name or calendar event for one near you that fits your schedule.
- In Newport, Aquidneck Growers Market is on Saturdays 9am-12pm. The current location is Pell Elementary School. See shopping protocols here.
- In South County, South Kingstown Farmers’ Market is open on Tuesday and Saturday mornings May-Oct at different locations. See schedule here.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Shares
CSA Shares give you the opportunity to support small, local farms by purchasing food products in bulk, in advance. Many also have the added benefit of arranging contactless, outdoor pick-up.
In March, we brought you the story about the availability of CSA shares through Local Patch, run by the Smith family. Other farms on Aquidneck Island as well throughout the state offer CSA shares as well. Check out Simmons Organic Farm (Middletown) CSA shares which start in June and get in touch with Cloverbud Ranch (Portsmouth) for information on pasture pack options for meat.
Search Farm Fresh RI for other CSA share options throughout the state.
Grocery and Meal Kit Pick-up / Delivery
WhatsGood app – This very handy app is essentially a farmer’s market online and allows you to shop and buy from local farmers, artisans and other vendors in the community right from your phone. For food, you can search the app by food category or vendor name, and purchase directly from Rhode Island vendors like Windmist Farm (Jamestown), Wild Harmony Farm Stand (Exeter), Provencal (Middletown), and Schartner Farms (Exeter) and more. Many farmers offer the option of curbside pick-up or delivery to your home.
Misfits Market – This produce subscription box company based in the Northeast takes misshapen and “ugly” produce from organic farms that would otherwise go to waste and offers them at a discounted price to consumers. A great way to support farmers, cut down on food waste and save yourself some money as well as a trip to the grocery store.
A number of nationwide meal kit delivery options are now available that will take out the decision-making and some of the effort out of preparing nutritious meals at home: Here are a few of our favorites: