Harkins: Nearly $15,000 awarded to boost urban agriculture in Erie

Will fund new urban farming venture, equipment for area farms

ERIE, May 7 – State grants totaling nearly $15,000 will enhance urban agriculture in Erie by funding materials to start a new urban farm and supplying equipment for two existing businesses, state Rep. Pat Harkins announced today.

Harkins, D-Erie, said the funding from the state Department of Agriculture includes $10,000 to the SSJ Neighborhood Network, which will use the funds for a project to convert two vacant parcels into a new urban farm; $2,500 to Green Thumb Organics for a water line, and $2,497 to Wild Field Urban Farm for refrigeration.

“As urban farming takes root in Erie, small farms are creating jobs, stimulating the economy, bringing together neighbors, and expanding access to fresh foods,” Harkins said. “Securing this funding is especially exciting because it is going to allow SSJ Neighborhood Network to complete the groundwork on its project to create a new urban farm.

“The funding will also allow two area businesses to grow by helping fund the equipment they need for production and storage operations. It’s terrific to see urban agriculture continue to flourish in the district.”

The grants are part of a package of nearly $500,000 in funding to 42 projects statewide.

The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program provides reimbursement grants that improve urban agriculture infrastructure in Pennsylvania by investing in the system, filling gaps, encouraging entities to work together, finding ways to bring operations to a greater scale, overcoming food deserts and opening opportunities for people to become social entrepreneurs.

More information about the funding is available here.