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Coronavirus: LA Farmers Markets Provide Alternative To Grocery Stores Amid Shortages, Crowds

BURBANK (CBSLA) -- Essential items like eggs, milk, and fresh produce are becoming harder to find at grocery stores around the Los Angeles area, but farmers markets in the area are providing a refreshing alternative.


While the Burbank farmers market wasn't as crowded as it usually is on Saturday morning, a hefty line for eggs had formed before the market had officially opened. Some shoppers arrived even before the vendors.

"We're having trouble getting eggs, milk, fresh vegetables..." said Mariana Arnedo, who arrived at the farmers market at 6:30 a.m. -- over an hour early. "There is no way to find any of these around here."

Burbank's mayor, Emily Gabel-Luddy, was among those who scored some otherwise hard-to-find items, including eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

"[I'm] just avoiding the inside grocery markets," she said, adding that she preferred the outdoor market.
Vendors have put in place a new "don't touch, we'll bag for you" policy in hopes of limiting the number of people handling the fruits and vegetables. Almost every vendor was wearing  gloves, and many also work masks.
Vendors and customers alike were not willing to take any changes.
"I didn't want to be around people," Arnedo said. "So, I just came early to get everything done, out of the way, and then go home."

Low-income, immunocompromised, and elderly residents are among the most vulnerable populations during the coronavirus pandemic. Several markets around L.A. are working to specifically serve these communities.

MORE: Coronavirus: SoCal Grocery Stores Reserve Shopping Time For Seniors

For low-income residents and seniors, Urban Partners Los Angeles in Koreatown will give away free groceries beginning at 7:30 a.m., and Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA will do the same at 10:30 a.m.

From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., workers from AltaMed Health Services are putting together essential kits filled with food and toiletries for seniors in isolation.

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