Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Kweisi Mfume, and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced a new $2 million investment Monday in West Baltimore’s historic Pennsylvania Avenue Market.
The leaders said the investment is important because Pennsylvania Avenue Market is one of the few sources of fresh food for the surrounding neighborhoods of Madison Park, Penn North and Upton.
The neighborhoods have been described in past as an example of a “food desert,” a place where high-quality grocery stores are scarce. The funds are also designed to encourage local entrepreneurs to become vendors at the market.
The market was first built in 1871 but has undergone several iterations and renovations in its history.
“This area was once the beating heart of a thriving black middle-class community,” Scott said. “Our residents here have lived through decades of disinvestment and neglect but, we are gathered here today to say that those days are over.”
The funds come from a recently enacted federal spending bill. Van Hollen and Mufume, both Democrats, said they pushed to include the Pennsylvania Avenue Market aid in the bill.
“The Avenue Market has been part of the West Baltimore community for 150 years, but needs a major boost. The $2 million in federal funds we secured will help breathe new life into the historic market and build a brighter future,” Van Hollen said.
Written by Tim Swift and originally published here