Grants will assist create wholesome consuming choices

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The Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Reinvestment Fund have awarded more than $ 443,500 in grants to fund several initiatives to create healthier food options.

The Department of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention and Reinvestment Fund recently announced nine new awards from the Philadelphia Food Justice Initiative (PFJI). In total, the initiative has provided over $ 620,000 in two-round grants since its launch in 2019.

“PFJI is based on the wisdom of the Philadelphia communities, especially those who have historically been marginalized, to advance their own solutions for themselves and their neighbors,” said Amanda Wagner, nutrition and physical activity program manager for the public health department, in a statement. “Food justice cannot be ‘one size fits all’ and this public health investment is part of the collective action we need to repair the damage to the food system and work towards a different, more equitable future. We recognize the importance of joy, celebration, and connectedness as part of healthy nutrition work. “

Of the 12 projects that have received PFJI grants since 2019, 10 are black, immigrant, and people of color who are owned or directed by people of color. Half of the projects are owned or managed by women. The fellows reflect a variety of community-based solutions to create a more equitable food system, including urban farming, fresh produce markets, culinary training, and community meals.

“Supporting community-led solutions is at the heart of the Reinvestment Fund’s work in supporting equitable food systems,” said Molly Hartman, program director for the Reinvestment Fund. “We are excited to work with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to support local entrepreneurs and communities empowered to grow, sell, and eat healthy foods.”

This round of fellowships includes Urban Creators, an organization that has been using food, art, and education as tools to promote resilience and self-determination in north Philadelphia since 2010. Urban Creators operates the Life Farm of Life Do Grow (LDG) Urban Farm and Neighborhood Creative Commons in North Philly. With the support of PFJI, Urban Creators is expanding the garden beds in the community and opening a marketplace in the neighborhood on the Life Do Grow Farm. Urban Creators also operates a flexible cellular market within the community that offers fresh produce and other essentials.

“With this PFJI grant, we are building our capacity to meet the urgent needs of our community during this Covid-19 crisis while doing the much deeper work of long-term relationship building, resource sharing and cultivation together of food as a community of exploration can provide new and old forms of sovereignty and liberation, ”said Urban Creators in a statement.

Other fellows include VietLead, who will use PFJI’s support to maintain the Furness Community’s school garden and continue the youth leadership program to gain access to fresh natural products. and Honeysuckle Provisions, who use PFJI’s support to plan the development of a project site in West Philadelphia that will house a small sustainable grocery store, meat market, coffee shop, common room and dinner club. For a full list of scholarship recipients, see the PFJI Impact Report.

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