Locavores and lovers of fresh local foods will be excited to learn that Aquidneck Growers’ Market, a program of ACT, will hold their winter market in downtown Newport at the Gateway Visitors Center, 23 America’s Cup Avenue, the city’s public transportation hub and steps away from waterfront attractions.
“We’re delighted to have found a downtown home for the winter months and appreciate the support of City Manager, Joe Nicolson, and the city council so we can open at the conveniently located Gateway Center,” said Bevan Linsley, ACT’s executive director.
Parking is free in the city lot and market goers are encouraged to explore the shops, attractions, open spaces of parkland and waterfront nearby.
The market plays a critical role in the local food economy by supporting more than 30 farmers and small businesses who depend on winter sales for their livelihood. As reported by The New York Times in their article, “7 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed How We Shop for Food,” consumers are shifting to buying more of their food locally for health reasons, and to support their local economies. ACT has observed a similar trend at its spring and summer markets, with increased demand for locally sourced products since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the US.
The winter market will continue to operate following COVID-19 health and safety protocols as it shifts indoors, providing customers with a safe shopping experience. Market staff ask that customers help to maintain access to local food supplies by following ACT’s safe shopping protocols, such as wearing a mask and observing social distancing guidelines at the market.
The indoor market will be open on Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 12 PM beginning November 7 on the lower level of the Gateway Center, a handicapped accessible facility. Customers coming by car can park easily in the lot behind the visitor’s center, shop at the market, walk the waterfront, and enjoy the many restaurants and shops in the area.
As in past years, the market will offer a wide selection of locally sourced foods: fresh vegetables and fruit; pasture-raised meat and eggs; fresh and smoked fish; artisan breads and pastries; a selection of prepared foods, coffee, and freshly squeezed juices. ACT also partners with Farm Fresh RI to offer 100% match for fruit and vegetables for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) clients who use their EBT allowance at the market’s Welcome Stall.
The market is held rain or shine.