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Founded in 1892, Reading Terminal Market is generally recognized as one of the nation's leading public markets. Mirroring the diversity of the Philadelphia community, market patrons are diverse in age, income, race, education and ethnicity. 6.3 million people visit Reading Terminal Market each year, the majority of them residents of the five-county Philadelphia metro area. Approximately 38% of our patrons are African American.
The Market is a mecca for foodies, a popular site for lunch for Center City workers and Philadelphians serving on jury duty, and a significant destination for tourists and convention attendees. At the same time, it is the primary source of fresh food for many Philadelphia residents, a significant number of whom live in "food desert" neighborhoods. According to the PA Department of Agriculture, Reading Terminal Market is among the most significant sites in the Commonwealth for the redemption of SNAP vouchers ("food stamps.") The Market is also a venue for the distribution of vouchers to senior citizens that can be redeemed for free, Pennsylvania-grown produce. 80 independent small merchants are located in the Market, representing a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. The Market serves the cultural, recreational and civic needs of a diverse patron base that averages 17,000 people each day, 358 days a year.