PHILADELPHIA – May 4, 2021 – State Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) announced that Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has awarded $34,125 in grants to projects in the 7th Senatorial District to improve access to healthy, local foods and increase agricultural awareness opportunities for children pre-kindergarten through fifth grade through the Farm to School Grants fund.

“Access to fresh, healthy food is not only key in helping our young people grow, but it is also important in building and sustaining lifelong habits for healthy behavior,” Sen. Hughes said. “I am pleased to have these investments to help our youngest learners start off on the right foot. Thank you to Gov. Tom Wolf, Secretary Russell Reading and the Department of Agriculture for the focus on our children.”

The projects receiving grants in the 7th Senatorial District include:

  • Harambee Institute of Science & Technology Charter School was awarded $15,000 to create a school garden
  • Methodist Services was awarded $15,000 to create school gardens
  • Colonial School District was awarded $4,125 to procure fresh produce for five sites in its district 

The Pennsylvania Farm Bill Farm to School Grant Program aims to enrich the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early childhood education sites. Any school district, charter school, or private school with pre-kindergarten classes, kindergarten, or elementary through fifth grade – regardless of offering in-person, virtual, or hybrid instruction models – was eligible to apply for the program.

Every one of the 39 projects approved have identified local farmers who will supply fresh, in-season product to support their programming or have plans to initiate their own garden or school farm to produce hyper-local products. In addition to providing students with access to local, nutritious food, the approved projects provide a variety of agriculture education experiences.