Hundreds turn out for drive-thru farmers market to help out Georgia farmers

Hundreds turn out for drive-thru farmers market to help out Georgia farmers

DALTON, Ga. — North Georgians showed up in droves at Dalton State College to buy up 300,000 pounds of Georgia-grown produce.

The line of cars stretched for nearly a mile on Wednesday.

“We’re going to pick up two boxes,” shouted George Walcott, a resident of Chattanooga, TN.

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When Walcott and his wife heard Georgia farmers had a surplus of produce, but no customers to buy the food, they wanted to do their part to help.

“This is what you need to do,” said Walcott. “If you got anything left over, give it to the needy.”

For weeks, Channel 2’s Chris Jose has reported on supply chain disruptions. When the food service industry went down, it took some suppliers with it.

Oakwood Café owner Kasey Carpenter teamed up with the Georgia Department of Agriculture to pull off the drive-thru style, pop-up farmers market called “Georgia Grown To-Go” in Dalton.

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“Farmers just want to be able to turn their product. They want to make it and see it get eaten,” said Carpenter. “They don’t want to see all of their work get thrown down in the dirt.”

Carpenter told Jose that he ordered 300,000 pounds of produce from South Georgia farmers.

Jose counted nine tractor trailers filled with Georgia grown produce.

Carpenter said between 300 to 400 volunteers divided fruits and vegetables into 20,000 boxes. Each one sold for $20.

“I saw the news about how farmers would have to turn under their crops, and I’m so grateful we’re doing something to help them and to help us,” said Dalton resident Tammy Cole.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black helped distribute boxes.

“I think it’s going to be a game changer certainly for our state,” said Black. “Perhaps this is a shrug in the shoulders in a shift of the marketplace too, because we’ve got opportunities for Georgia grown farmers to interface directly with these consumers.”

The next “Georgia Grown To-Go” drive-thru farmers market is scheduled for Saturday at Al Bishop Park in Marietta.

It’s scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The pre-sale for the event has ended but there will be supplies on first-come, first-serve basis.

Another market is scheduled for May 27 in Gwinnett County at Coolray Field from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pre-sales are underway for the event.

For a complete list of items available and more information about the events, click here: https://georgiagrowntogo.com/

Disruptions in the food industry hitting Georgia farmers hard