The Food Trust and the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA Celebrate Back-to-School Healthy Eating with Harvest Day at the Christian Street YMCA

Free fall festival to feature weekly farmers’ market at 18th and Christian streets, plus youth-grown produce stands, live music, face painting, cooking demonstrations & more

WHEN:   Wednesday, September 17, 3:00-7:00 p.m., FREE, Introductions begin at 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Christian Street YMCA, 1724 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA 19146                         

WHAT:  Promoting back-to-school healthy eating for Philadelphia students and their parents, The Food Trustis collaborating with Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Phillyinitiativeand Green Mountain Energy Companyto present Harvest Day at the Christian Street YMCA, a free outdoor celebration of the changing season, on Wednesday, September 17, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.

In addition to spotlighting The Food Trust’s weekly farmers’ market at 18th and Christian streets, festivities will include cooking demonstrations to encourage parents to cook healthy meals at home, youth-grown produce stands, Philly Bike Share test rides, live music, face-painting and more.

“Farmers’ markets provide access to fresh, regional produce and build a sense of community,” says Dr. James Buehler, Philadelphia Health Commissioner. “They are a critical resource in helping city residents lead healthier lives.”

Adds Yael Lehmann, executive director of The Food Trust: “Celebrating Harvest Day at one of our 27 farmers’ markets gives The Food Trust an amazing opportunity to bring together so many organizations that believe in creating healthy environments. With the new school year under way, now is the perfect time to learn about healthy meal preparation, what fresh fruits and vegetables are in season, and how parents can pass along good habits to their kids.”

The Christian Street YMCA is at the center of the local community and is a key partner in delivering programs that promote healthy living to children, individuals and families. “For more than 100, years the Christian Street YMCA has been committed to meeting the needs of the South Philadelphia community,” says Michele Stevenson, executive director of the Christian Street YMCA. “Partnering with The Food Trust to celebrate Harvest Day allows us the unique opportunity to connect the community with programs that positively impact healthy lifestyles.”

At The Food Trust’s 18th and Christian Farmers’ Market, Quarryville, Pa.-based Hilltop Farms sells fruits, vegetables and free-range, hormone-free poultry and eggs every Wednesday from May to November. This location joined The Food Trust’s family of markets in June thanks to founding sponsor Green Mountain Energy. The nation’s longest serving retail supplier of renewable energy, Green Mountain Energy will make a contribution to The Food Trust for every new customer it signs up at Harvest Day.

“As a longtime supporter of The Food Trust, serving as the lead green energy sponsor of its farmers’ market network and Night Market Philadelphia, we naturally seized the opportunity to bring an additional market to the local community,” said Mike Starck, head of Green Mountain’s retail business in the Northeast. “The health of this neighborhood draws on the strengths of its roots, so celebrating Harvest Day at this location is a natural way to recognize and accelerate those efforts.”

About The Food Trust

The Food Trust, a nonprofit founded in 1992, strives to make healthy food available to all. Working with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers, The Food Trust has developed a comprehensive approach that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food. To learn more about The Food Trust, visit

About Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Throughout the Delaware Valley, the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA serves more than 140,000 members and 200,000 individuals a year – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in 18 locations throughout Berks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. For more information, visit or call 215-963-3700.

About Green Mountain Energy

Green Mountain is the nation’s longest serving renewable energy retailer and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. The company was founded in 1997 with the mission to “change the way power is made.” Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. One of Green Mountain’s largest customers is the “world’s most famous office building,” the Empire State Building in New York City. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid more than 30.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

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