Helping Buyers and Sellers Connect During COVID-19 Disruptions to Florida Food Markets

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions to Florida food markets. Sales of food products to restaurants and schools have fallen drastically. Some farmers markets have closed. Sales through grocery stores spiked upward initially, but recent limits on the number of shoppers have dampened demand at stores. Online food sales and home delivery have increased. Consumers are changing purchasing patterns, and farmers and distributors who lost markets are trying to adapt. More farmers are trying to sell online. Wholesale distributors are selling produce boxes directly to consumers. Drive-through farmers markets have opened.

Helping Buyers and Sellers Connect

Various initiatives have been launched in Florida to help sellers and buyers connect under these new circumstances. Some efforts focus on the availability of individual products. Other efforts provide lists or directories of places where consumers can buy local food, beyond the grocery store.

Available Products

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) created an Agricultural and Seafood Availability Notice form to collect information on available products. Product suppliers can submit individual commodities they have available, and FDACS is posting the information on their Florida Farm to You website.

Hillsborough County Extension is creating a surplus produce directory for that part of the state. Hillsborough-area produce sellers can fill out an online Surplus Produce form and list individual products available.

Directories of Local Food Sellers

The FDACS Fresh From Florida program has a website listing various types of markets and suppliers of Florida agricultural products.

Kalan Royal and the Florida Farm Bureau put together a comprehensive list of farms and farm stands across the state offering #FreshfromFlorida fruits and vegetables to consumers.

The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFV&A) has a website to help publicize Florida farms selling produce directly to consumers. You can email them at to be added to their site.

Edible Northeast Florida provides a map with direct-to-consumer farms and food markets in northeast Florida. Edible South Florida lists places to buy fresh, local produce in southeast Florida. Transition Sarasota provides a list of direct-to-consumer farms and online and drive-through markets in the Sarasota area.

Feeding Florida created a map and directory of Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) markets currently operating. The FAB program provides discounts (doubles your money) on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchases of Florida-grown produce. Feeding Florida also provides a directory of food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens.

Local Harvest and Eat Wild are two other websites that list local direct-market farmers.

These and other initiatives are trying to help Florida sellers and buyers connect and adapt to food market disruptions.



Posted: April 7, 2020

Category: Agribusiness, Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Florida, Food Markets, Local Food


Kevin Athearn

May 27, 2021

You would have to contact your county property appraiser office to learn what the additional property tax would be. Every county (and municipality) has a different millage rate. Hoop houses could be treated as an improvement on the property, increasing the assessed value and amount of property tax you owe.

Vivian Searcy Milton
May 25, 2021

How are hoop Houses taxed by the property appraisers office? If it cost $1,395,000 to build the hoop house on the farm how much would the real estate taxes be. the land value with agriculture exemption is 55,000 Total acreage is 150 The extra features value is 1.395,000.

Kevin Athearn

April 16, 2020

Thank you very much for pointing out the Edible Northeast Florida map. I have added that to the blog.

Mimi Vreeland
April 16, 2020

Hello! Could you please edit the above infromation to include “Edible of Northeast and South Florida”. I was informed by the editor of Edible Northeast thy they are also providing the same service as South Florida Edible. Your prompt editing in this announcement would be much appreciated

April 3, 2020

WAS WONDERING as without our impact upon the urban setting could become devastating within days to weeks. Glad this industry is recognized as important, maybe we can be respected better. As having same amount of schooling as most Doctors, then being treated as 'lowly' has disappointed me over the years, as we have less respect. Always dreamed recognition would be nice & this form helps as we are important

Avatar photo
De Broughton

November 26, 2019

Hi Kathy, Click on our website and you should find the information you are looking for as well as upcoming training opportunities in the greenhouses. Also, the contact information for our greenhouse manager is on this site if you need more assistance!

November 15, 2019 worked with peanuts.bkueberries.oeaches,plums,vetch,tobacco etc for IFAS prior to six years ago.I was an OPS. ....have a few questions.i have never tried hydroponics.Will there be a separate print out or paper I can get and read carefully pertaining to local lettuce? that does not have to do with hydro technical methods?( Organic please?).i have been growing soybeans and yet to get good accurate info.locally when I visit my wonderful local IFAS office here.

Avatar photo
De Broughton

May 23, 2019

Thanks Al! I’m so glad you could join us!

Al Burns
May 23, 2019

Great meeting.

Patrick Troy
June 19, 2018

A 2018 update: STATE ITEM June 17, 2018 PREV. WEEK June 17, 2017 5-YEAR AVG. FLORIDA Peanuts Pegging 8% 0% 12% 11% Soil Moisture 0% Very Short 7% Short 73% Adequate 20% Surplus Conditions 0% VP, 1% Poor 20% Fair 68% Good 11% Excellent Early planted peanuts look excellent, but late planted were only fair because of prolonged wet conditions.

Jennifer Copeland
October 18, 2017

Checking to see if you are doing the Fall Harvest Experience inn Live Oak. My 3rd grade class loves to go each year!

October 10, 2017

Good timing We need to address both!

Patrick Troy

September 10, 2017

The warm spring increased GDDs. What are other varieties doing in your area?

Patrick Troy

September 10, 2017

Most 06G peanuts are running 8-10 days ahead of last year

Patrick Troy

September 10, 2017

Dry weather is expected to follow Monday's rain.

Patrick Troy

September 6, 2017

What was the stover material? Did you roll that down and herbicide it?

Comments are closed.

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories