ABOUT THE MARKET
The Penn Street Market is an open-air, seasonal farmers market in the heart of downtown Reading, PA. The Market features local farm produce, fresh meats, baked goods, locally owned restaurants and food trucks, and more! The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance and the Market Team are committed to hosting a variety of family and nutritional programs in partnership with The Food Trust, featuring local musicians, kids crafts, and highlighting community resources.
We aim to:
- Promote access to healthy and locally-sourced food in the City of Reading.
- Cultivate a thriving seasonal event through free entertainment, education, and community programming to engage all community members.
- Contribute to downtown Reading revitalization by transforming Penn Square at 5th and Penn Streets into a vibrant destination on a weekly basis.
In 2013 a Food Assessment for the City of Reading was conducted to determine the extent of food access and insecurity. The Assessment found that there are fewer grocery store establishments per 100,000 people than the rest of the State and Country. To address access to healthy, fresh foods it is critical to continue to strengthen and promote the farmers’ market network in the City of Reading. As the prevalence of diabetes, obesity, and other diet-related illnesses rise, particularly concentrated in low-income urban and rural communities, improving the food environment can have a long-lasting impact on community health.
Enter the Penn Street Market, where local, healthy, and fresh foods are important pillars of the downtown Reading Market. Every Thursday in June through September from 10 AM to 2 PM the community can come together to purchase fresh local fruits, vegetables, meats, and other healthy goods.
A central feature of the Penn Street Market are the weekly SNAP nutrition education programming and demonstrations developed by The Food Trust of Philadelphia – Reading, PA team. The educational demonstrations are interactive and bi-lingual – offering an opportunity for everyone to learn more about healthy food choices and ingredients. All participants walk away with a weekly recipe that features seasonal fruits and vegetables that can be purchased from various vendors at the Market.
The Penn Street Market is for everyone – the team loves to bring people together on a weekly basis on beautiful Penn Square (5th and Penn Streets) in the heart of downtown Reading.
The Market (at participating vendors) accepts SNAP (food stamps), WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers, and Berks Farm Bucks and provide helpful nutrition information to ensure that fresh, local foods are available to everyone.