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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Penn Street Market Opens in Downtown Reading

In June, the Penn Street Market opened at 5th and Penn, in downtown Reading. A revitalization of a 249-year-old tradition, the market will be open on Thursdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., now through September 24. Featuring an open-air seasonal atmosphere and more than 20 local farms and food artisans of Berks County, the expansion provides food access, visibility and accessibility in the heart of downtown Reading.

Vendors include 3 O’clock Snacks, Bog Turtle Creek Farm, Callowhill Café, Country Lane Poultry, Eco-Friendly Cleaning, Grow Your Own Freedom, May’s Juice Bar, Meadow View Beekeeping, Mi Casa Su Casa, Pauline’s Soups & More, Perk Up Truck, Pure Wild Tea, Railside Produce, Rodale Institute, The Rustic Bunch, Stoudts Wonderful Good Market and more.

Free daily programming includes entertainment from noon to 12:45 p.m.; cooking demonstration, 1:15 to 2 p.m.; education hour, 2 to 2:45 p.m.; community hour, 3:15 to 4 p.m.; and entertainment, 4:15 to 5 p.m. An ongoing community art project, Art in the Open, invites community members to join local artists to create a 10-panel mural during market season.

Penn Street Market debuts the Berks Farm Bucks program, sponsored by The Friends of Reading Hospital, to match SNAP and WIC food assistance programs. Any person using these services has a two-to-one purchasing increase, with a maximum of $10 per person per market day to double purchasing power for fresh fruits and vegetables. The Berks Farm Bucks program also supports $5 tokens distributed by The Food Trust of Philadelphia for children who attend a weekly cooking demonstration. Hosted by registered nutritionists who have been providing wellness education in the classrooms of Reading School District, this program serves to provide community outreach to young and vulnerable populations.

“Our goal is to create a vibrant downtown community event—a sustainable market placed at the heart of downtown Reading, to revitalize and feed the soul of every person who attends,” says Market Director Lucine Sihelnik.

Free parking vouchers are available at the information stand for Chiarelli and 4th & Cherry parking garages. For more information, call 484-706-3035.

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