Russell Redding, Pennsylvania ag secretary, recently announced the $500,000 Urban Agriculture Grant Program is now open to help grow agricultural infrastructure in urban food deserts.
The program is designed to improve access to fresh, local food and provide opportunities for hands-on learning and community building. With improved agricultural infrastructure, urban growers can prioritize access to sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate foods for their community.
“Access to sufficient, healthy, fresh and culturally appropriate food is a basic right of all people,” Redding says. “With increased agricultural infrastructure in urban areas, growers can prioritize food access and security for their community, effectively growing food sovereignty across the commonwealth.”
The program will provide grants to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources and support for community development efforts. In the first two years of the program, the Wolf administration invested $1 million in urban agriculture, which has leveraged an additional $1 million in local investments through matching dollars.
In total, the Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Program has funded 70 projects in 16 counties.
Two types of grants can be awarded: microgrants and collaboration grants. Microgrants of up to $2,500 in matching funds can be used for one-time projects or a single entity applicant.
Collaboration grants (up to $50,000 in matching funds) demonstrate cooperative or regional efforts that share resources, aggregate agricultural products or producers, promote the sharing of resources among agricultural entities, and support community development.
The program closes Oct. 15. Other Pennsylvania Farm Bill programs accepting applications include the $500,000 Farm to School Grant Program, $1 million Farm Vitality Grant Program, and the $3 million Resource Enhancement and Protection tax credit program.
For more information, visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.