Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Mahindra Urban Agriculture Grant Program disbursed $125,000 in funding to 13 southeast Michigan nonprofit farming organizations in a ceremony held at The Greening of Detroit’s Lafayette Greens in downtown Detroit.
Since 2015, Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) has donated more than $550,000 in cash and farm equipment to support 20 organizations committed to sustainable farming and gardening in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and beyond.
Mahindra grants given over the past four years are responsible for more than 1.5 million pounds of fresh food being grown by or for disadvantaged southeast Michigan residents; the disbursement of more than 100,000 seeds and seedlings to more than 1,500 individual gardens in Detroit; the building and creation of equipment sheds and community resource hubs; a prototype irrigation system designed for small gardens and gardeners; and funding gardening programs for developmentally challenged adults.
Mahindra also has donated three tractors and three off-road vehicles to various groups, including Detroit’s Historic Eastern Market to facilitate maintenance and vendor transportation.
“It’s been an exciting and humbling experience to watch — and play a role in — the growth of this region’s thriving urban agriculture movement over the past five years,” says Rick Haas, MANA’s president and CEO. “I’m amazed by the creativity and resourcefulness our grant recipients display, not only in the projects Mahindra helps fund, but also as they fulfill every aspect of their group’s missions. I’m proud to know them, as they are a remarkable group of people, whose dedication to the provision of affordable, nutritious and accessible fresh foods for area residents is unequaled by most.”
Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra says, “The Mahindra Urban Agriculture Grant Program has, for five years now, demonstrated precisely what Mahindra RISE stands for — a betterment of the communities in which we, Mahindra, work and live. This grant initiative continues to enrich the lives and minds of residents across southeast Michigan and is helping to fuel an urban farming movement key to the future sustainability of our planet.”
This year’s 13 grant recipients, along with the programs their grants will support, are listed below. Previous recipients that are receiving new 2019 Mahindra grants include:
- Boggs Educational Center for its Roots to Fruits program for students in grades pre-K to 8 ($12,000)
- The Full Circle Foundation Edible Garden’s Summer Institute for special-needs young adults, and a Mahindra GenZe e-bike for auction at the group’s annual gala ($12,250)
- Greening of Detroit to support operations and programs at Lafayette Greens in downtown Detroit ($20,000)
- Keep Growing Detroit to enable a nine-month program for adult agricultural apprentices ($15,000)
- Neighbors Building Brightmoor for the renovation of the group’s greenhouse and tool shed ($10,000)
- Northend Christian CDC to conduct a demonstration project of an irrigation system for urban gardeners and farmers ($15,000)
- Pingree Farms for educational materials for use in the Mahindra Agriscience Learning Center ($10,000)
First-time grant recipients include:
- Burnside Farm for completion of a subterranean greenhouse ($2,500)
- Charles Drew Transition Center Horticulture Program to expand on-site farm operations ($8,200)
- Edible Flint to support the farm and garden tour and provide resources for local gardeners ($10,000)
- Mt. Olivet Neighborhood Watch (Growing Joy) to purchase a tool shed ($3,200)
- Northwest Goldberg Cares to help match a $5,100 grant from MEDC’s Patronicity program for the construction of an art park ($1,800)
- Yorkshire Woods Community Organization to establish the Bee Adventure, an apiary, in the community