Pa. Dept. of Agriculture opens Urban Agriculture Grant applications March 1

Harrisburg

(Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The application for the 2020-21 Pa. Farm Bill’s $500,000 Urban Agriculture Grant Program will open Monday, March 1, according to Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.

This grant is aimed to grow agricultural infrastructure in urban food deserts so they can have access to fresh, local food and get access to hands-on learning and community-building opportunities.

“In 2020 we saw the sad result of the reality of food apartheids as people in urban communities without access to fresh, nutritious food were disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” said Redding. “Nutrition and health – strong immune systems and susceptibility to disease – are inextricably linked. COVID-19 compounded upon years of lack of access to nutritious food and minority urban communities were hit hard by the pandemic.”

Grants will improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas by sharing resources, supporting the community and their development efforts, and aggregating product.

There are two types of grants that can be awarded:

  • Microgrants – up to $2,500 in matching funds that can be used for a one-time project or single entity applicant
  • Collaboration Grant – up to $50,000 in matching funds, this demonstrates cooperative or regional efforts where receivers share resources, aggregate agricultural products or producers, promote the sharing of resources among agricultural entities, and support the development of their community.

“Pennsylvania agriculture is integral to our ability to keep food resources flowing during COVID. Food banks and urban gardens have been the vanguard against hunger and food insecurity,” said state Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia). “The Urban Agriculture Grant Program has been vital in providing food resources for 28 projects in 2020. It is encouraging to know that 2021 grant applications will continue to sustain communities across the Commonwealth as we move beyond this health crisis.”

The application will close on April 16 at 5 p.m. and interested people can visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill for more information.

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