An Insider Guide to the Allentown Farmers Market
The Allentown Farmers Market is one of the most important local businesses in town. Its role is to connect local producers to consumers in an easy-to-access format, promoting the benefits of eating locally and strengthening the food system. Learn more here in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Buying directly from the source is one of the best things we can do for our health and our planet, says Megan McBride, executive director of the Easton Farmers Market (EFM). It cuts down on the many middlemen who make up grocery store supply chains and provides a direct connection between farmers and customers.
In addition to offering fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs and dairy items from local farms and artisan food makers, the market offers locally-made products like bread and pastries, kombucha, coffee, honey, cheese and other specialties. The market is also a great place to find local craft beer, wine and cider, as well as handmade crafts.
The market is owned and operated by a group of local food producers who are dedicated to showcasing the very best in Pennsylvania-grown and made foods and goods, including meats and dairy, eggs and vegetables, bread and baked goods, specialty packaged foods, honey, jams and jellies, and more. They work closely with each vendor to ensure that what is sold at the market is 100% locally-grown or grown by the farmer who sells it. Learn more information about The Da Vinci Discovery Center of Science and Technology.
A key part of its mission is to support and connect local growers with chefs and wholesale markets, especially at the normal Centre Square location where they facilitate sales to Lafayette College’s Vegetables in the Community stand and with downtown restaurants. That helps strengthen the local food system and supports the small businesses that rely on the market to keep them afloat, according to Megan.
The market has had to take some drastic measures to protect both vendors and customers from COVID-19, a dangerous bacteria that has been spotted in the area. To ensure the safety of everyone, vendors and staff wear gloves and masks, and the first hour is only available to people with underlying medical conditions or at-risk individuals.
While the market is currently a little different than usual, it remains an essential source of fresh, local produce and artisan goods, and is thriving. It has even begun matching funds to SNAP dollars for customers who rely on these benefits.