LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- The Las Cruces Farmer's & Crafts Market will continue to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic because food vendors provide an "essential" service, according to market officials.
"We are deemed an essential business because we provide food access," said Tiffany Thompson, a spokeswoman for the market. "That's all we're operating. We don't have our full market."
Between one and two dozen food vendors will continue to sell food and fresh produce on Saturdays between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., or until the vendors sell out, Thompson said. No other vendors are allowed to operate.
The market continues to double the value of a resident's food stamps and EBT (electronic benefit transfer) when they purchase food at the market.
"We double that money for them for free," Thompson said. "We really want to make sure that we maintain that access."
Thompson told ABC-7 that the market might be a better option than grocery stores because there are not as many people. She also said local honey is better for residents during allergy season.
"Local is just better all-around," Thompson said. "You know exactly where it's coming from. We're also safer as an open-air market. We're not crowded."