The partnership between the Commonwealth and The GIANT Company will boost PA Farm Bill Urban Ag funding to $700,000
York, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Dave Lessard, The GIANT Company’s vice president, omni-channel merchandising, fresh, toured York Fresh Food Farms to announce the GIANT Company’s commitment of $200,000 to support 2023-24 PA Farm Bill Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grants. The GIANT Company’s contribution boosts total funding to $700,000 for the state’s program aimed at increasing fresh food access in urban food deserts, addressing historical inequities, and feeding community opportunities to thrive together.
“We have a proud agricultural heritage here in Pennsylvania – one that fuels our economic progress and contributes $132 billion to our economy,” said Governor Shapiro. “We must do more to close the gaps between Pennsylvania’s world-class agriculture industry and the kitchen tables of those most in need of healthy, affordable food. My Administration will continue to support Pennsylvania agriculture and the PA Farm Bill – and we’ll continue to work with partners like GIANT to make our investments go even further.”
“Too many Pennsylvanians live in communities where the nearest fresh food is miles away, and these grants will help communities tear down barriers, reverse a long history of poor nutrition, and fund new opportunities that can change families’ lives,” said Secretary Redding. “We deeply appreciate The GIANT Company’s longstanding partnership with the Department – and together, with local partners like York Fresh Food Farms, their support is making gardens bloom in vacant lots and repurposed warehouses, and connecting neighbors long separated by ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic barriers around new opportunities to thrive together.”
Pennsylvania has invested more than $2 million in urban agriculture through the program since 2019. That $2 million investment has leveraged an additional $2 million in local matching dollars. In total, 113 projects in 19 counties across the state are expanding fresh food access in locations often served by a single convenience store.
The GIANT Company’s support is part of its 100th anniversary celebration, which is dedicated to growing its legacy of supporting team members, customers, and the communities it serves.
“Strengthening our food system is critical to The GIANT Company’s purpose of connecting families for a better future. And urban agriculture is critical to this narrative – it is growing food security, creating healthier communities, addressing food system inequities, and connecting families around the dinner table,” said Dave Lessard, vice president, omnichannel merchandising, fresh, The GIANT Company. “We are so proud to support this year’s Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program as part of our 100th anniversary celebrations, as these dollars will help grow resilient, food secure communities for generations to come.”
PA Farm Bill Urban Agriculture Grants to York Fresh Food Farms of $15,000 in 2020-21 and $21,850 in 2021-22 have helped the business build its production capacity, funding equipment, and cold storage. The GIANT Company has partnered with the business through its Healing Our Planet initiative, donating $8,000 over the course of 2020 and 2021 to support its Mobile Produce Market. With additional CARES Act federal funds, and in partnership with the local housing authority, the farm now supplies 200-plus shares of fresh produce year-round to low-income families in the York area.
Secretary Redding invited applicants to apply for the 2023-24 round of Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grants. Eligible projects will improve or create programs, sharing resources or pooling agricultural products to build a neighborhood’s access to fresh, local food. Individuals, businesses, community and agricultural organizations in urban communities may apply for either individual “microgrants” or collaborative grants for partnership projects.
Applicants must supply a 15% funding match to receive grants. Grant applications must be submitted online through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development Electronic Single Application. Applications open Monday, July 17, and are due by at 5:00 PM on Sept. 1, 2023. Full grant guidelines will be published in the July 15 edition of the PA Bulletin and at agriculture.pa.gov.
Find a map of previous grant recipients and details of other PA Farm Bill grants and initiatives to grow and sustain Pennsylvania agriculture at agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.
Governor’s Press Office, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie McLaughlin, The GIANT Company, email@example.com
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