On April 25th, Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, Congressman Kweisi Mfume, and Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott gathered to highlight a new federal investment of $2 million for the City’s Avenue Market.
The funds are intended to provide access to healthy foods for area residents, support local entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses and provide more jobs, and sustain farms across the metro area. The Avenue Market, located in the Upton neighborhood of West Baltimore, can be traced back 150 years. It is one of six Baltimore public markets- the oldest continuously operating public market system in the United States.
Mayor Scott offered thanks to his congressional counterparts and emphasized the importance of the federal investment in a press release:
“I want to thank our Federal Delegation – the best Federal Delegation in the Country – for securing $2 million towards redeveloping this crucial community hub of West Baltimore’s historic Pennsylvania Avenue corridor,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “By providing space to emerging businesses, we create jobs, economic growth, and sustainable wealth generation in and for our communities. We are paving the way for an inclusive renaissance in West Baltimore and throughout the City.”
The median income of residents within a half-mile radius of the market is 58 percent lower than the median household income in Baltimore City. Households are less likely to own or have access to a vehicle and have few nearby markets from which to buy affordable fresh food. The $2 million investment into the Avenue Market will help create a bridge between Baltimore’s many urban farms and community gardens and residents needing access to healthy food.