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Greater Easton Development Partnership teams up with Highmark Blue Shield

Highmark Blue Shield

PITTSBURGH (July 1, 2016) — At a ribbon cutting ceremony today, Greater Easton Development Partnership (GEDP) announced a three-year collaboration with Highmark Blue Shield. Demonstrating the company's commitment to health and wellness, Highmark's sponsorship includes funding for both the Easton Public Market Farmstand and the Easton Farmers' Market, totaling $105,000.

"As the region's leading health and wellness company, we see it as our responsibility to encourage and promote healthy behaviors, and we aim to improve the health of the communities we serve," said Susan Hubley, director of community affairs for Highmark Blue Shield. "This collaboration with the Greater Easton Development Partnership, is a great example of how we work with community organizations to achieve that goal. Through the Highmark Farmstand, visitors have access to an array of local produce and groceries that is unparalleled anywhere else in the Lehigh Valley."

The 800 square foot Highmark Farmstand serves as an anchor for the new Easton Public Market. Offering locally and regionally sourced produce, dairy products and prepared foods, the Highmark Farmstand has increased the availability of fresh food within the City's urban core. The Highmark Farmstand and the Easton Farmers' Market both honor supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits, further increasing access to high quality nutritious foods.

"It's more than just grocery items. What the Highmark Farmstand and the Easton Farmers' Market offer to consumers is the story of their food, and the sense of place that accompanies knowing where that food comes from," said Market District Manager Megan McBride. "Highmark Blue Shield has enabled us to not only tell that story, but to support and sustain local farmers and food producers, while providing our community with access to healthy foods."

"Partnering with the Easton Market District solidifies Highmark's commitment to health and wellness. We are proud to support the local food initiatives of the Greater Easton Development Partnership — through the new Easton Public Market and the 264 year-old Easton Farmers' Market. Together we share the mission to build a stronger, healthier community," Hubley said.

About Greater Easton Development Partnership

Founded in 1983 as the Easton Economic Development Corporation, the Greater Easton Development Partnership (GEDP) is a volunteer driven, non-profit entity focused on Easton's economic well-being, historical integrity, programmatic development, vibrant culture and urban hospitality. GEDP's programs include Easton Main Street Initiative, the Easton Ambassadors, Easton Farmers' Market and Easton Public Market. www.eastonpartnership.org

About Highmark Blue Shield

Highmark Inc. doing business as Highmark Blue Shield serves approximately 1.2 million members through the company's health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. It employs nearly 2,300 people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
David Misner
Highmark Health
717-302-3638
david.misner@highmarkhealth.org