Praise offered for collaborative effort to improve health and livability of neighborhoods.
Philadelphia, September 13, 2011 – As part of the City of Philadelphia’s continuing efforts to make neighborhoods healthier, Mayor Michael A. Nutter, U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey and Deputy Mayor Donald F. Schwarz officially opened a new farmers’ market at the Frankford Transportation Center in Northeast Philadelphia.
The farmers’ market at the Frankford Transportation Center represents a collaborative effort between the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Food Trust, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, and SEPTA to increase the accessibility to healthy food options to low-income Philadelphians. It is one of 10 new farmers’ markets to open in the past 16 months under Get Healthy Philly, a federally-funded initiative to prevent obesity and make it easier for people to engage in healthy behaviors.
“The City of Philadelphia is committed to finding innovative ways to encourage people to be proactive about their health,” said Mayor Nutter. “The Frankford Transportation Farmers’ Market combines access to healthy options with sustainable food systems, local economic growth and transit-oriented development. Making healthy and affordable food more readily available to all Philadelphians is a goal of the Greenworks plan.”
SEPTA now hosts two Get Healthy Philly farmers’markets with another located at the Olney Transportation Center in North Philadelphia.
“The Frankford Farmers Market represents an innovative way to promote Pennsylvania agriculture, stimulate the local economy, create jobs and improve access to fresh, healthy foods for the community,” said Senator Casey. “Through programs like Get Healthy Philly we can continue Pennsylvania’s proud agriculture tradition to support jobs and health throughout the state.”
The 25 Get Healthy Philly farmers’ markets across the city are made accessible for low-income residents through the Philly Food Bucks program. For every $5 of SNAP (food stamp) benefits that are spent at participating markets, individuals can receive an additional $2 of free fruits and vegetables. Through Philly Food Bucks, SNAP redemption has more than doubled at farmers’ markets across the city.
“As the region’s primary provider of transit services, SEPTA recognizes the substantial role we play in connecting people to life’s necessities,” said General Manager Joe Casey. “Improving access to fresh local foods at our stations is one of the social goals outlined in SEPTA’s Sustainability Plan.”
Deputy Mayor and Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz said, “Too many people in this city and across the country live in communities that make it difficult to be healthy. In Philadelphia, this market is part of the solution.”
For more information about Get Healthy Philly, visit: http://www.foodfitphilly.org or http://www.phila.gov/health/Commissioner/CPPW.html.