Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Launches Get Fresh Lexington
Wednesday Feb 22nd, 2012
Better Schools. Safer Streets. Stronger Neighborhoods.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Initiative will serve as model to increase access to fresh, healthy food at the city’s six public markets.
Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by business and community leaders to announce details of Baltimore City’s new Get Fresh Lexington initiative, a comprehensive new strategy aimed at increasing the availability of healthy food options at Baltimore’s landmark public market. Get Fresh Lexington includes plans to increase the number of carry-out food establishments that sell healthier choices, improve access to local produce, and increase consumer demand for healthier dining options.
To launch the initiative, Mayor Rawlings-Blake and market officials unveiled new carry-out menus and signage for the market, which serves over 2.6 million customers every year. Get Fresh Lexington will serve as a prototype for a citywide healthy public market strategy that will be scaled up to work with over 100 carry-out vendors across Baltimore’s six public markets.
The new signs will make it easier for customers to identify healthier food options at participating Lexington Market vendor stalls.
“We are making it a priority to work closely with Lexington Market to increase the number of healthy food choices and make it easier for everyone to make good lifestyle choices,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Lexington Market is a key part of the culture and history of Baltimore, and today marks one of many efforts underway to grow our great city.”
A recent evaluation by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future found 20 percent of Baltimore residents live in a food desert. Additionally, data from the Health Department’s 2011 Neighborhood Health Profiles show that the area around Lexington Market has the highest density of prepared food sources, such as fast food restaurants and carry-outs.
“We are very excited to be partnering with the City to improve the health of our customers. I find it disheartening to see young children eating fried foods and sodas for breakfast,” said Casper Genco, Executive Director of Lexington Market. “Get Fresh Lexington will not only increase the availability of healthy food, but also provide nutrition education to help our customers make healthier choices.”
The Get Fresh Lexington Market initiative has four key strategies:
- Implement a Healthy Carryout Strategy
- Increase Demand for Healthy Food
- Create Local Farmer Day Stalls
- Establish a Healthy Food Fitness Hub