Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding toured Out of the EndOpens In A New Window, a Pittsburgh-based urban farm, to announce $736,145 in grants to support projects that will increase capacity to produce fresh food and create economic opportunity in urban Pennsylvania neighborhoods. Funding through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill's Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program and a $200,000 donation from The GIANT Company will support 26 projects in 11 counties across the state.
"Feeding health and economic prosperity in our cities feeds us all," Secretary Redding said. "Urban neighborhoods are vital to Pennsylvania's future. The Shapiro Administration is committed to investing in strengthening local economies, promoting food security, and reducing effects of climate change to improve quality of life and health in urban communities. Building partnerships with local organizations made of innovative problem solvers like Out of the End, and the resources and corporate generosity of companies like The GIANT Company, magnifies the impact of state investments."
Funded projects enable expansion or purchases of agricultural infrastructure such as greenhouses, hydroponic equipment, cold storage, and tools needed to expand the reach and impact of organizations that feed economic, community, and personal growth through agriculture.
Out of the End received $46,750 to construct a greenhouse to extend the growing season for their produce, install irrigation, and add storage to expand their capacity.
"Agriculture is essential to the work we do at The GIANT Company. We couldn't do what we do – feed families – without it, and that's why we're committed to investing in urban agriculture efforts such as the 2023-24 Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program," said The GIANT Company Sr. Vice President Dave Lessard. "We congratulate all of the grantees and look forward to seeing these projects advance, contributing to resilient, food secure communities and healthier communities for generations to come."
Pennsylvania has invested more than $2.7 million in urban agriculture through the program since 2019. In total, 139 projects in 19 counties across the state are expanding fresh food access in locations often served by a single convenience store.
The program funds microgrants of $2,500 in matching funds for one-time projects or a single entity, as well as collaboration grants. Collaboration grants provide up to $50,000 in matching funds for cooperative or regional efforts to share resources, support community development, and combining products of small farmers, building collective power of to supply fresh food in underserved neighborhoods.