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PAOLA — Access to fresh food from local farmers is important now more than ever due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is why organizers of the Paola Farmers Market have modified the event to make it work and keep people safe.

The Paola Farmers Market was supposed to combine with Music on the Square this summer and form an event called Music and the Market on Saturday evenings.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic disrupted those plans.

Instead, members of the Discover Historic Paola group have created a Curbside Farmers Market that gives local residents the opportunity to shop for fresh food items and pick up their purchases, all without having to leave their vehicle.

Local residents are encouraged to go online to www.paolafarmersmarket.org to see what items local farmers have made available to purchase. New items are updated each Tuesday, and consumers can contact the farmers directly to place and pay for orders.

Orders can be picked up between 5 and 7 p.m. each Thursday at Fire Lake Soapery, located at 5 E. Piankishaw St. in Paola.

Julie Zoller of Fire Lake Soapery and Discover Historic Paola said customers can pull right up to the Bull Creek BBQ food truck, and volunteers will bring the purchases out to each car. Food is kept cold using the refrigerators inside the food truck, Zoller said.

The first curbside pickup took place Thursday, May 14, and the organizers were pleased with the turnout.

“The first one went so well,” Zoller said. “We had a steady group of people.”

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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