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Keller Administration Provides Funding to Reopen Albuquerque's Rail Yards Market September 27

Popular market to remain open through October

September 24, 2020

The Rail Yards Market is getting a second chance in time for Fall. After announcing early closure due to financial strains from COVID-19 safety operations, the Rail Yards Market received some much-needed financial assistance from the City of Albuquerque's Cultural Services Department. The market will be able to reopen Sunday, September 27 and remain open through October.

"Just like so many in Albuquerque, my family loves the Rail Yards Market, and we've worked hard with them to ease the burden that COVID-19 is taking on so many of our favorite traditions," said Mayor Tim Keller. "Thankfully we were able to step up with funding to keep them going a little longer this year."

The Rail Yards Market, which is fiscally managed by the non-profit Barelas Community Coalition, will work with the City collaboratively to reopen the farmers market event with some exciting changes. Some big plans are in the works including expanded space as the Blacksmith Shop will open for the first time this year. Online ordering and curbside service for a safe shopping experience accessible to all will continue. There will also be free parking.

The farmers market welcomes SNAP/EBT, and even hosts a program to double SNAP dollars for fresh and local raw produce.

While the Rail Yards Market succeeded in many ways to overcome obstacles in the Spring, ultimately operations were not financially sustainable for the small non-profit to continue through the Fall on their own.

"The Market has seen a 60% decrease in revenues, while the cost of operations has increased," said Assistant Market Manager Amy Jones. This is a national trend with farmer's markets during the pandemic. "Despite increased interest in local food, 75.6% of market operators have reported lost income due to the pandemic," according to the Farmers Market Coalition.

Mayor Tim Keller stepped in with Cultural Services and now the Rail Yards Market has received enough support to host the Fall market. This will help not only the market non-profit, but also the many local businesses the non-profit serves. Together with supporters, the market brought more than $150,000 in local sales through their virtual Farm-to-Car platform, trained more than 65 businesses in digital sales and distribution, served 1,452 customers online, packed 1,900+ orders, and strengthened the foodshed and community from May to September.

The Rail Yards Market wishes to thank the community, staff, vendors, and partners who supported their non-profit's efforts to pivot, adapt, and change this Summer during the pandemic.

"Thank you to the community for all for your dedication, resilience, and support. We'll be back at The Yards very soon," said Market Manager Alaska Piper.

To continue to support the market non-profit, shop with local vendors in-person at the Rail Yards Market or pre-ordering at www.railyardsmarket.org. Catch all the local flavors, sights, and sounds, at the Albuquerque Rail Yards 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays through October.

The historic site is home to some of the oldest railway buildings in the nation, and has a revitalized outdoor plaza, ADA accessibility, and more than 150 newly paved parking spaces.

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