Thursday, June 4, 2015

Organic Allentown Farmers' Markets Announced Rodale Institute to Increase Access to Organic Foods




June 3, 2015 (Allentown)  Rodale Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, announced the June grand opening of two Organic Allentown farmers’ markets. The 'all organic' markets are part of the Organic Allentown initiative, a partnership of the City of Allentown and Rodale Institute to create a city-wide culture around urban organic agriculture. Allentown mayor, Ed Pawlowski, will officiate two ribbon-cutting ceremonies to commemorate the grand opening of the markets.
The first market, called 'Rodale Institute Organic Market at the Y' will open on Saturday, June 6th and run from 9 am – 1 pm in the parking lot of the YMCA/YWCA building  located at 425 S. 15th Street. The second market is called 'Rodale Institute Organic Market on 7th' and will open Saturday, June 13th, running from 10 am – 2 pm in the parking lot of St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church located at 417 N. 7th Street. Both markets will run every Saturday up through October 31st. Two ribbon-cutting ceremonies will be held, one at each market, with both ceremonies beginning at 10 am.

These farmers’ markets were developed to provide low-income community members improved access to a safer and more nutrient-rich diet through USDA certified organic foods which are grown without synthetic chemicals. To promote this mission, both farmers’ markets will accept payment via SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. In April of this year, the USDA awarded Rodale Institute a grant to reduce prices for SNAP users through a dollar-for-dollar match. For example, SNAP users who buy $10 worth of organic produce at the farmers’ markets pay only $5 from their SNAP accounts, with the other $5 matched by the USDA grant. Local, organic produce is half-off for SNAP users with this unique deal.

The following is a list of vendors confirmed for each market.

Rodale Institute Organic Farmers’ Market at the Y:

Real Gardens Farm Stand – www.realgardensfarmstand.com
Amurie – www.amurie.com
Hermosa Soap Co. – www.hermosasoaps.com
Monocacy Coffee Co. – www.monocacycoffee.com
Made By Lino – www.madebylino.com
Saxman Breads – www.saxmanbreads.com
Rodale Institute Produce Stand – www.rodaleinstitute.org
Rodale Institute Organic Farmers’ Market on 7th:

V-lish Vegan Soup Co. – www.facebook.com/v-lishvegansoupcompany
Amurie – www.amurie.com
Hermosa Soap Co. – www.hermosasoaps.com
Saxman Breads – www.saxmanbreads.com
Rodale Institute Produce Stand – www.rodaleinstitute.org
“Our main goal is to increase organic food access and choices for the residents of Allentown,” said Jesse Barrett, Organic Allentown Program Manager. According to the USDA, some areas of Allentown are considered “food deserts,” where low-income residents have low access to fresh, healthy foods and are long distances from supermarkets or large grocery stores. Often times, even the closest grocery stores are not likely to carry fresh organic produce at affordable prices.

To make organic food more accessible, Rodale Institute staff will provide cooking demonstrations, easy-to-follow recipes, and nutritional guides for market-goers. Rodale Institute is also partnering with Allentown YMCA/YWCA, led by the organization’s CEO Jim Finchum, to conduct an organic-eating initiative for children. A friendly “Healthy Eating Nutrition Competition” will be held over the course of the season, where kids win when they eat their veggies.

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