Farmers market opens in North Philadelphia

    The North Philadelphia neighborhood of Norris Square celebrated a milestone on Thursday — the opening of a farmer’s market selling fresh fruits and vegetables. The area is one of many in the city now being referred to as “food deserts” where residents have little access to produce.

    farmersmarket1The North Philadelphia neighborhood of Norris Square celebrated a milestone on Thursday — the opening of a farmer’s market selling fresh fruits and vegetables. The area is one of many in the city now being referred to as “food deserts” where residents have little access to produce.

    Fresh corn, tomatoes, and strawberries were laid out on two tables in the shadow of brick rowhomes at Susquehanna and Howard Streets. It’s the result of a $15 million federal grant to help poor neighborhoods get access to fresh food. Mayor Nutter cut the ribbon on the market.

    “And this quite honestly is a very important and necessary step to help us combat obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases that unnecessarily cost us millions of dollars in health care, disability payments, productivity.”

    Young Iverson Ortiz says he’s going to take the Mayor’s advice.

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was on hand for the grand opening
    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was on hand for the grand opening

    “I like to eat pork chop with rice and beans on the sides. I don’t like vegetables but Mayor Nutter was here so I’m gonna start eatin’ them. I love fruits especially Quenepa from Puerto Rico.”

    Ortiz’ friend — nine-year-old Nailleley Santos says she already knows why she should eat healthy.

    “I think that’s good about what he said that we should be eating good food and vegetables and fruits because there’s a lot of diabetes, my mom she works, there’s a woman that she takes care of and she got diabetes.”

    The neighborhood has high rates for diabetes and obesity. The city is also using financial incentives to get people to buy the food — food stamp recipients get an additional 2 dollars for every five dollars they spend at the market.

    Norris square

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