Mondays at the Market brings healthy offerings to Public Square

By Cabrini Rudnicki - For Times Leader
Rilynn Rapson, 4, of Wilkes-Barre, tries on a bicycle helmet during Monday’s market on Public Square. Children and parents lined up in front of the tent hosted by the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department to be fitted for free bicycle helmets to promote safety. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Abby Hislop, 3, visiting from Philadelphia, has her face painted during the Monday market on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
A boy waits for ice cream at the ice cream truck parked on Wilkes-Barre Public Square during the summer’s first Mondays at the Market event. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Public Square is seen during the first Monday market of the season. - - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Pat Ward makes balloons for children at Monday’s market on Wilkes-Barre Public Square. - - Sean McKeag | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Eating well, living well, relaxing well, and enjoying life.

That, said city health Director Henry Radulski, is what Mondays at the Market are all about.

For the second summer in a row, Radulski’s department and the Luzerne County Medical Society brought together local health-based nonprofits for the health-themed event on Public Square, which kicked off on Monday.

It is a complement to the weekly Farmers Market, which runs on Thursdays.

Each week is themed, with Monday’s theme being “Healthy Kids Week.”

There were many activities for children, including a strawberry-themed ride, a bounce house, free face painting, as well as free bicycle helmets for children given out by the city health department.

More than 25 health and wellness agencies attended, along with food stands and local farmers.

The Wilkes-Barre YMCA held a children’s activity area titled “Imaginary Playground.” The area featured foam blocks which can be put together to create things or used as a marble maze.

The YMCA also attended to promote “Food and Fun at the Park,” employee Michelle Schasberger said.

The program, which is a partnership between the city of Wilkes-Barre and the YMCA, gives out free lunches throughout the summer at six different parks as well as the YMCA itself. The program also features an hour of literacy and games, funded by the United Way.

“For Wilkes-Barre city kids, who are wondering what they are going to eat, they can come to the park and eat a healthy lunch.”

Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services Inc., a local nonprofit, attended the event with a stand filled with informational sheets.

Susan Mizenko, a prevention/education supervisor at the organization, distributed flyers with information about addiction treatment.

“We are here because we feel it’s a good community message to let the people know in our community the problems with drugs, alcohol and gambling, as well as providing the resources available,” said Mizenko.

Tonyehn Verkitus, executive director of the Luzerne County Medical Society, wanted the event to share health information with the community.

“What I hope is that people are coming to the health fair, they are coming to the farmers market, too, to see healthy food available in the area,” said Verkitus. “But also so they are getting more awareness of health care options.”

The market is funded through a state Safe and Healthy Communities grant, designed to increase access to healthy foods.

“The most important thing is that people learn something that increases their health and wellness,” said Radulski. “The health department is always in pursuit of a healthier community.”

The event runs every Monday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Aug. 27.

Rilynn Rapson, 4, of Wilkes-Barre, tries on a bicycle helmet during Monday’s market on Public Square. Children and parents lined up in front of the tent hosted by the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department to be fitted for free bicycle helmets to promote safety.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL070318MondaysattheMarket1.jpgRilynn Rapson, 4, of Wilkes-Barre, tries on a bicycle helmet during Monday’s market on Public Square. Children and parents lined up in front of the tent hosted by the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department to be fitted for free bicycle helmets to promote safety. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Abby Hislop, 3, visiting from Philadelphia, has her face painted during the Monday market on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL070318MondaysattheMarket2.jpgAbby Hislop, 3, visiting from Philadelphia, has her face painted during the Monday market on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

A boy waits for ice cream at the ice cream truck parked on Wilkes-Barre Public Square during the summer’s first Mondays at the Market event.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL070318MondaysattheMarket3.jpgA boy waits for ice cream at the ice cream truck parked on Wilkes-Barre Public Square during the summer’s first Mondays at the Market event. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Public Square is seen during the first Monday market of the season.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL070318MondaysattheMarket5.jpgPublic Square is seen during the first Monday market of the season. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Pat Ward makes balloons for children at Monday’s market on Wilkes-Barre Public Square.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL070318MondaysattheMarket4.jpgPat Ward makes balloons for children at Monday’s market on Wilkes-Barre Public Square. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Event brings healthy choices to Square

By Cabrini Rudnicki

For Times Leader