LETTER: Penn Market a classroom for the community children.
Just imagine being back in kindergarten at eye level with stands of overflowing fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, fresh meat and even aloe. Every stand owner greets you with an apple, or smoothie or a smile. You can walk there from your school, and you think your legs have never walked quite that far before. You pay the vendor, wondering if you will get change back.
This one experience teaches you so much about mathematics, nutrition, health and, most importantly, the community where you live.
Now imagine that opportunity for learning stripped away for every generation to come. Is that the York we want?
I'm a daughter and granddaughter of market vendors; for this reason, the markets hold a special place in my heart. I grew up learning the same lessons as children today. I can confidently predict these would be the same lessons children would continue to know over the next several decades if farmer markets continue to be part of learning in York, Pennsylvania.
The state has released Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds for the Penn Market. There have been some rumors for some time about a private sale or other usages. I had feared that we are in a selling mindset in York, Pennsylvania, thinking only of today when we should plan for a sustainable community, which means you invest in what you have, especially your small business owners.
However, in the RACP funding application, it states the funds will enhance and preserve the market. I'm encouraging all involved to have numerous public broadcasted meetings about what are the best decisions for the Penn Market and all of the vendors. I would encourage the Penn Market vendors to facilitate the conversations with the Redevelopment Authority representative, the city administration, and of course, the residents who live, play and work in this area.
On a final note, during COVID-19, when the grocery stores ran out of food, when it was a time of the Have and Have Nots, there was very little hope of what was happening next. The Penn Market vendors were open and supplying a diverse community with fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and different food options. Thank you, Penn Market, for staying open, staying positive and bringing hope.