The Family Markets had not been held since March 15 after the COVID-19 emergency was declared. (Archive)
After months without being carried out due to the controls imposed to prevent COVID-19 infections, it was reported that from October the Family Markets restart, this time, with a new service model that respects all health and safety measures for protect the participants, who will use the pick-up model or collected by servi-car.
The markets will be held from 7:30 am to 2:00 pm and begin on October 1 in San Sebastián, in the parking lot of the Sports Complex, on Friday, October 2 it will be in Moca, at the Juan Sánchez Acevedo Coliseum, in Peñuelas, on Thursday, October 29, in the Luis Muñoz Marín Stadium parking lot and in Coamo, on Friday, October 30, in the Pedro M. Caratini Stadium parking lot.
“Following Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced promulgating Executive Order 2020-66, we are ready to resume sales in the Family Markets. We will use the sales model with car-service to protect the participants and the list of products will be available before reaching the sales position where the groceries will be delivered according to the order placed. We have adapted the services to avoid contagion and maintain an operation with access to all, ”assured the Secretary of the Department of the Family, Orlando López.
The particularity of these markets is that the recipients of the Nutritional Assistance Program (PAN) benefit are authorized to buy local products, mainly agricultural, that are sold through this initiative.
For his part, the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Carlos Flores, stated that, “the Family Market is very important to us, we were very anxious to be able to restart them but with the guarantees of safety for farmers and participants. The purpose of this new model is to achieve an activity that effectively complies with the virus prevention protocols while promoting an increase in the consumption of fresh and healthy food ”.
The initiative was not held since last March 15 when the emergency was declared, and since these centers were visited by a large population of older adults, the ADSEF requested and approved a waiver to the federal Food and Nutrition Service program of the Department of Agriculture federal so that families could use the entire benefit of the PAN in any certified business.
“The 4% contribution is now available to participants in their accounts and families have the necessary resources to be used in the Family Markets. Now we want to make sure that each family has access to use those resources from the Family Market close to their home and that it complies with the health and safety guidelines established by state and federal authorities, ”explained ADSEF administrator Alberto Fradera.
Instructions to participate in the Family Markets:
• Anyone visiting Family Markets must wear a mask and comply with distancing measures. Visitors must arrive in their vehicles and will remain there to be served by program staff.
• Only a limited number of people on foot will be allowed, such as people with disabilities and older adults who cannot get there in vehicles. These will have a separate waiting space with the spacing stockings and will be attended separately.
• Before arriving at the booth, program personnel will be available to verify the balance in the Family Card account, although it is encouraged to access www.ebtpr.com to verify it previously.
• Program staff will provide all participants with a list of available products with their prices, before arriving at the booth to have a per-order ready.
• This order will be dispatched by the farmers in a bag and the participant will only have to pay for the transaction upon arrival at the stand.