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Wolf Administration Funds 23 Projects to Improve Urban Agriculture Infrastructure, Overcome Food Deserts

01/31/2022

Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Dauphin, Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, York county projects funded

Philadelphia, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced approval for $520,000 in funding to support 23 projects through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill's Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program. The projects funded include agricultural infrastructure such as greenhouses, raised beds, solar equipment and tools to provide urban ag operations every opportunity to succeed as they work to feed and build their communities.

"These grant funds directly address food system gaps, encourage community collaboration, and create opportunities for people to become social entrepreneurs," said Redding. "And, most importantly, these funds address food system injustices by increasing agricultural awareness and improving local food access."

"Since the grant program's inception through the 2019 PA Farm Bill, the Wolf Administration has invested more than $1.5 million in urban agriculture through 93 projects across 19 counties," added Redding.

The 2021-22 Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program funded nine microgrants and 14 collaboration grants for projects that improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources, and support for community development efforts.

Microgrants provide funding up to $2,500 in matching funds for one-time projects or a single entity. Collaboration grants provide up to $50,000 in matching funds for projects that demonstrated cooperative or regional efforts to share resources, aggregate agricultural products or producers, promote the sharing of resources among agricultural entities, and support community development.

Through support from the MidAtlantic Farm Credit, the budget for this year's program increased in October 2021 from $500,000 to $520,000. Eligibility to be considered as "urban" was determined by criteria from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

The approved projects include:

Allegheny County

Hilltop Urban Farm, $43,750 for raised beds, hoops houses, solar batteries, and

purchases of equipment and supplies.

Farm to Table Buy Local, $50,000 to support seven urban farms for the farms/gardens needs on various infrastructure improvements including water, power, soil testing, rainwater mitigation, pavilions and kitchens.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden Inc., $2,500 for the Homegrown program to supply raised-bed fences to protect household crops.

North Hills Community Outreach, $15,000 to construct a four-season, high performance, passive solar greenhouse. 

Wilkinsburg Community Ministry, $32,000 to improve infrastructure at their composting site.

Tree Pittsburgh, $2,500 to install a bulk material storage bin at Heritage Nursery.

Freeman Family Farm & Greenhouse, $50,000 to build a farm fresh market and grocery store.

Beaver County

Crop and Kettle, $2,500 for a greenhouse to provide agricultural training to students including how hydroponic technology can be used to grow traditional crops year-round.

Big Table Farm, $2,500 for a new greenhouse to meet increasing demand for local fresh produce.

Butler County

Butler Area School District, $50,000 to construct a secure outside entrance for the market at Broad Street Elementary, refrigeration units, merchandisers, and shelving units for display of the products.

Dauphin County

Camp Curtin YMCA, $2,500 to install a solar panel and an addition of a water tank to collect the rainwater to nourish a garden. 

Lancaster County

Discerning Eye Community Agriculture (DECA), $23,016 for construction of two urban gardens in Lancaster, community supported agriculture, a commissary and kitchen equipment, and implementation of a Pay-What-You-Can, donation-based farmer's market.

Montgomery County

Mosaic Community Land Trust, $30,000 for the growth of CSA food shares to be distributed to the community, and organic food education programming.

Pennypack Farm Education Center for Sustainable Food Systems, $2,500 for a new greenhouse heater for community access to seedlings.

Philadelphia County

John Bartram Association, $50,000 for two electric utility carts for efficiently collecting and transporting compostable materials, tools and supplies, and a new hoop house for mushroom production.

Awbury Arboretum Association, Inc., $37,300 for a farm market shed, walk-in refrigerator, washing station and outdoor kitchen.

215 People's Alliance Education Fund, $2,500 for repairs to gardens and to purchase supplies for the growing season.

LifeLeaf Organic Farms (FarmerJawn Agriculture), $50,000 to build a nano-farm, a Corner Store and akitchen/market to serve the local community.

Weavers Way Cooperative Association, $31,425 for a deer fence and orchard tools and supplies for students and staff to use for planting, maintaining and harvesting.

Cloud 9 Community Farms Inc., $2,500 to complete a greenhouse construction project to serve the community.

Kelly School Garden, $2,500 for a new shed, tools and outreach and educational materials.

Urban Creators, $43,500 to make improvements to the current greenhouse outdoor kitchen, and purchase tools and supplies for educational workshops.

York County

York Fresh Food Farms, $21,850 to improve urban farm production, a shed to store tools and supplies, and parking lot improvements.

The full list of approved projects can be found at agriculture.pa.gov.

The PA Farm Bill is a comprehensive set of programming and funding for Pennsylvania's agriculture industry. For more information about the Pennsylvania Farm Bill visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.

Note: Photo and video from the event will be available at pacast.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers – 717.603.2056, shpowers@pa.gov

 

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