Lancaster Central Market Launches After Market Program
January 30, 2023
After Market brings more food to tables in Lancaster County
Shoppers wait in line to browse a donated selection of produce and prepared items nearing the end of their shelf life. The cooler and tables that host these Market day leftovers, if you will, are the result of the new Kathleen L Peck After Market program. Designed to ensure nutritious food ends up on local tables, not in landfills, Market Standholders offer free goods that will expire before the next Market day.
The After Market program is a revised iteration of a previous food donation program from Central Market Trust that fell through during the Covid pandemic. The family of Kathleen L Peck helped launch After Market in her memory after she passed away suddenly last year. After Market is open to the public and operates Tuesdays and Saturdays from 2:45 pm to 3:15 pm.
Improving Community Health
For nearly 300 years, local farmers, bakers, and specialty purveyors have gathered in Central Market to provide our community with an incredible selection of nutritious goods. Still, 9% of Lancaster County residents are food insecure; that’s more than 50,000 people. At the same time, nearly 40% of all food in the United States is wasted. Food waste contributes to 23% of landfill waste and millions of tons of harmful greenhouse gases.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Market Trust partnered with local nonprofits to pick up food donations directly from the Market house. Due to staff constraints and varying donation amounts, Trust staff sought other ways to reduce waste and bridge the gap to ensure that food flowing into the Market makes it onto kitchen tables. The Kathleen L Peck After Market program provides an outlet for Standholders to donate food that might otherwise go to waste.
“Our mission includes celebrating Lancaster’s fresh food culture. This is a great way to ensure we’re not letting those resources go to waste,” Melissa Siwiec, Central Market Trust’s Executive Director, explains. Lancaster Central Market’s central location within the City makes it well suited to offer such a program, which it hopes to expand beyond Market Standholders in the coming years.
Honoring a Legacy of Shopping Local
Lancaster Central Market’s After Market program is named after Kathleen L Peck, a long-time Market shopper and Lancaster City resident who passed suddenly in 2022. Kathy’s family wanted a way to honor her legacy as a lover of Lancaster Central Market and an ardent philanthropist.
Kathy was a reliable weekly shopper at Market and developed relationships with the Standholders she frequented. Kathy, and her husband Mike, supported the 2016 Raise the Roof campaign to keep the Market house viable. “Central Market was our primary source of food,” explains Mike Peck. “We even moved into town to make the walk to Market easier. Kathy went twice a week and always first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds. Just about everything we ate came from Market.”
Some of Kathy’s favorite stands include Groff’s Produce, Brogue Hydroponics, Lancaster Coffee Roasters, Maplehoffe, S. Clyde Weavers, Farm2Table, and Linden Dale Farm.
“It’s great to see her name inside the Market, it’s even on the sign outside,” Mike said upon seeing the sign for the first time. “We’d like to see it succeed and grow as much as it can. We really want all Standholders to participate, but more than that, we want to ensure the right people are getting the food.”
“The Market has been the hardest place for me to attend after her passing,” admits Mike. “There is always someone who wants to talk about Kathy. And my kids shop at the Market; my son shops there every Friday, so her legacy continues in many ways.”
Taking part in After Market
After Market is open to the public every Tuesday and Saturday from 2:45 to 3:15 pm. A short line forms outside of the Market Office. Shoppers are asked to browse the tables in a single-file line and take only 3-5 items at first. Shoppers may return to the end of the line as often as they wish. After Market shoppers should bring their own bags, as none are provided.
Other businesses that wish to donate their leftovers can do so through apps such as TooGoodToGo. Restaurants and grocery stores can advertise free or reduced-price goods to the community. App users can see what’s available and what time. Eliminating food waste is a win for the whole community.
Designated as a market town in 1730, the City of Lancaster is home to Lancaster Central Market, the oldest, continuously running public farmers’ market in the country. More than 60 local vendors call the beautiful 1889 Market House home three days each week, when it opens its doors to welcome the surrounding community. It’s about community and what better place to experience that than right in the heart of it? We’ll meet you at Market!