One common challenge we share during social distancing is how to get the food that we need to feel our best. A nutritious diet supports physical and mental well-being.

When recommendations are to shelter in place, it can be stressful to think about going to a store with other people. There is currently no recommendation to avoid shopping in person. Rather, you should do your best to minimize contact with others by maintaining a distance of six feet or more, washing or sanitizing hands frequently, and reducing spread of germs by minimizing contact between your hands and face.

Limit the frequency of shopping trips by stocking up on staple and shelf-stable foods.

Fresh fruits and vegetables may feel like a challenging area. Some vegetables that have a longer shelf life are root veggies like potatoes, carrots, and beets, sturdy greens like kale, collards, and brussels sprouts, and alliums like onions and garlic to add flavor to your meals. Apples, pears, bananas, and citrus fruits all keep well; keep these options available, and plan to eat more perishable fruits like berries or grapes within a few days of buying.

Check with your grocery store about offerings like curbside pickup or designated shopping times for those who are immunocompromised.

Many stores who didn’t typically offer this are adjusting their operations to provide curbside service.

Meal kits delivered to your home, like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, are another option to reduce physical interaction and touch points.

Keep in mind that while it may be tempting to order all food and groceries online, doing a “normal” task like grocery shopping may provide a sense of normalcy as well as opportunity for social interaction.

If you usually enjoy shopping locally at a farmers market, you can continue to find these foods while social distancing.

The Athens Farmers Market is working with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Collective Harvest to provide curbside pickup and delivery of items sold by market vendors. Daily Co-op also provides curbside pickup of many locally grown and produced items. CSAs like Collective Harvest and Athens Locally Grown provide weekly produce shares from farmers and are another excellent option to support local food producers while social distancing.

Utilize your social media to stay up to date with your favorite businesses and options for getting groceries or food during the COVID-19 response.

According to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, there are no current indications that COVID-19 is transmitted through food or food packaging. This includes drive thru or takeout food, which make these convenient options for obtaining food while minimizing physical interaction.

Written by: Beth Kindamo, Nutrition Education Coordinator, UHC Health Promotion