I think we’ve settled into a nice system for pickups on Thursday. Last week, we averaged over one car per minute over the three hours, and for nearly all of you there was little to no waiting. For the first time, I can think about even more orders coming in without panicking just a little bit!
However, ready or not things are beginning to open back up around town, and that included the YMCA. This week they’re only opening their outdoor areas, and those will close at five as you all start arriving. They’re not sure yet what will happen next week, but it won’t be long before they need to reclaim the space they’ve been lending us, and we’ll have to either find a similar home that can take us or try to stuff us all back into Ben’s Bikes. Could be as early as next week, and I’ll keep you all informed.
This week, though, we’ll be at the Y, operating just as we have the last few weeks. Every week has brought new sales records, and our growers have been able to keep going through one of their busiest times of the year thanks to you and the other area markets that have been able to adapt to the times. We recognize the danger hasn’t passed and the need for good clean food is as great as ever, so we’ll keep doing what we need to so the growers can get it to you.
We’ve been pulling in almost everyone we know to help us organize orders these last few weeks, and we’ll need more in the weeks ahead. If you’d like to add your name to the list, please let me know! It’s five hours of hard work right now, but everyone does get a food credit.
Here are some things that we’ve all been doing that worked wonderfully, and we’d like you to keep them up:
- Don’t arrive at the beginning of your pickup window if you’ve got that flexibility. The time you arrive has no bearing on what items you get, so take your time getting there and that’ll naturally spread things out a bit. Flatten the curve, if you will.
- I’m bad with faces as it is, and masks make it even harder to recognize you and even hear you when you give your name. Many of you had papers with your name written in big letters we could read through the window, and that is wonderful. If you think to do that same, it’ll make things even smoother.
- The Y’s pickup loop is a little odd, and unmanaged it can be a zoo. We don’t want you backing up into Hawthorne, so if you arrive faster than we can deliver orders, we may ask you to pull ahead into the loop and circle around.
- The folks at the Y have been holding an ongoing food drive for their pantry for members in need. If you have canned or packaged food you don’t need, feel free to bring it and we’ll give it to them.
Here are some general reminders of things that have changed from the before times:
- If you arrive by bike or on foot, or just want to park in the lot and get out of your car, we’ll have a place for you to walk up.
- We’ve still got three pickup windows, and it’s totally ok if you come later than the slot you chose
- We’re not accepting in-person payments unless absolutely necessary. We’ll have a drop box for checks or labelled envelopes of cash, but we greatly prefer Venmo payments to @athenslocallygrown or online payments through a card tied to your account. That last option has a 3% fee, and Venmo is free.
- We can not accept any recycling
- We cannot take your own bags or bins out of your car and fill them up
- If you’d like to go through your items before you leave to make sure you’ve got everything, or that we didn’t mix up people’s items, feel free to pull into the lot and have a look.
Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at the YMCA!