Farmers Markets Make Healthy Places!

Farmers Market season is here in Franklin County!

Farmers markets are critical to local and regional food systems. Nearly 20% of low income residents in Franklin County have low food access and over 80% of Franklin County adults do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. A lack of food access and adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables can contribute to poor health outcomes, such as obesity and diabetes. Farmers markets bridge gaps between farmer and consumer. They also serve as social and economic hubs that can contribute to a sense of place – making a “place” a “community”. Here are a few markets in Franklin County to check out this season.

North Square Farmers Market (Chambersburg)

Celebrating its 10th anniversary at its current location on N. Main Street in downtown Chambersburg, the North Square Farmers Market (NSFM) opens this Saturday, May 26 at 8am. The NSFM started 18 years ago at the Southgate Shopping Center by sociology students from Wilson College. Today, the NSFM has become a social hub for friends and neighbors to catch up every Saturday from May 26th through October 20th while supporting the local economy. The market features a variety of local food and artisan vendors, live music and provides a Kids POP (Power of Produce) Club through Healthy Communities Partnership, which provides free tokens to youth to purchase fresh fruits and veggies. The NSFM also accepts SNAP benefits and has a double-dollars program which provides a $10 match per market-day visit. Some vendors at the NSFM participate in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) which provides a one – time, $20 voucher from area Seniors and WIC participants (children age 1-5). To learn more about the FMNP vouchers for seniors, contact the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging at 717-263-2153. To learn more about the WIC program, contact 1-800-WIC-WINS or visit their website. The FMNP vouchers will be available starting on June 1. The South Central Community Action Program will have a WIC stand at the NSFM on Saturday, June 30. Listen to a local podcast with the people behind the NSFM.

Follow the NSFM on Facebook.

The STCC Open Air Market (Shippensburg)

The Southampton Township Cumberland County (STCC) Open Air Market started last year in Shippensburg by local residents. The STCC Open Air Market is open on Monday’s from May 7-Octobr 29th and is located at the Southampton Township Cumberland Valley Park. The hours of operation are 3pm-7pm during the Mondays of May through September. For the month of October, the market hours will be from 3pm-6pm. The market has a variety of vendors and events throughout the season.

Follow the STCC Open Air Market on Facebook.

Market in the Park (Waynesboro)

The inaugural Market in the Park kicks off this Saturday, May 26th at 8am in the Main Street Park in Waynesboro. A program of Mainstreet Waynesboro, the market will be located in the new parklet on Main Street which was a downtown revitalization project completed last year. Farmers markets are key to downtown revitalization efforts and Waynesboro is moving in the right direction by using place-making strategies, such as food enterprise and the built environment, to spur economic development. The Market in the Park is funded in part by Summit Endowment.

Follow Market in the Park on Facebook.

Explore your community through farmers markets. 

Photo credit: North Square Farmers Market