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Georgia farmers sell $80,000 worth of produce before drive thru event even starts

Despite rain, hundreds of cars line up outside CoolRay Field to buy fresh produce from local farmers.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Hundreds of Gwinnett County residents came out to Coolray Field on Wednesday to support Georgia Farmers in a drive-through market event.

According to officials with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, vehicles began lining up 2 hours prior to the start of the Gwinnett Georgia Grown to go event. The produce market was put on by GADA, Georgia Grown, and Gwinnett County. With foodservice channels limited, the pop-up markets are designed to give customers an opportunity to purchase fresh produce directly from farmers with limited contact, drive-through service.

Wednesday's drive-thru market opened at 3 pm and lasted until 7 pm. Pre-sale orders were offered to customers, but drivers were able to purchase on-site while supplies lasted. Not including on-site sales, GADA officials say $82,000 worth of produce was purchased prior to consumers picking up their order. 

Customers followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's social distancing guidelines while purchasing fresh produce thanks to the drive-through approach. Drivers were also able to stay out of the rain, as farmers placed produce boxes directly in their trunks.

Georgia Grown To Go is an innovative program with multiple benefits,” said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “It helps farmers stay in business during these difficult times by providing them with a direct market. It helps the consumer – our residents – by providing them with fresh, healthy produce that they can pick up and take home with limited exposure to others. And it keeps money in the state, which provides a welcome boost to our economy. It’s a win-win-win scenario. We appreciate the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s bringing such a creative solution to Gwinnett. I’m sure it will be well-used.”

In addition to providing opportunities for fresh produce, this event also supported the local community by utilizing the operations support of the Gwinnett Stripers.

"We are happy to support this community event and be a meeting place that supports people and farmers throughout the region during this difficult time," said Adam English, Vice President and General Manager for the Gwinnett Stripers.

Georgia Grown To Go is part of the GADA’s “Buy Georgia Grown, Now More Than Ever” campaign encouraging consumers to ask for Georgia Grown products. 

“Our team has been working diligently with community leaders to connect our farmers who have tended their crops all season long to supply safe and nutritious food for our consumers in need of delicious Georgia Grown products,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “Each event is unique to the community it serves and would not be possible without the vision and collaboration of local government and non-profit partners.”

For more information on produce offerings, pricing and upcoming events, click here

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