July 6, 2021
The Boston Public Market was founded in 2015 and has thirty vendors from across Massachusetts selling a variety of local products in a year-round, indoor space in downtown Boston. The pandemic closed the market to the public from March to September of 2020, a much longer closure than what they had originally anticipated. BPM also runs the Dewey Square market, which usually attracts downtown office workers on their lunch break and residents making their weekly shopping trip.
Market manager Carrie Dewitt applied to the FSIG program to fund plexiglass for each market vendor at their point of sale, to protect the workers and allow the market to reopen. Without FSIG, she says, they would have been closed longer, but the program allowed them to open back up and provide a safe environment for customers and vendors.
The market is an important food security access point, as several of the vendors that sell at BPM are Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) authorized, and regularly see customers from the downtown neighborhoods of the North End and Chinatown. The Dewey Square Market the organization runs in particular is a key access point, and by supplying the vendors with plexiglass they were able to reopen this market as well.
BPM also received funding for handwashing stations, which in combination with the plexiglass, helped consumers feel comfortable shopping again. Carrie estimates that foot traffic is around 30% of what they regularly pre-pandemic, but has been steadily rising every month. Without FSIG, they would not have been able to reopen and ensure the safety of the workers and the consumers.