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The Flower Show

PHS Harvest Ends Season with Almost 19,000 lbs. of Produce Donated & $30k Raised to Fight Food Insecurity

November 15, 2021

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PHS Provides Tools for Self-Reliance; Regional Gardeners Grow and Share Within Their Communities


PHILADELPHIA, Pa., Nov. 15, 2021 – Today, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), the internationally recognized nonprofit focused on gardening for the greater good, celebrates the end of its successful 2021 Harvest initiative. In total, gardeners throughout the greater Philadelphia area donated more than 18,728 pounds of produce to local nonprofits. The program also raised a total of $30,087 to support efforts to combat food insecurity within the region.

Having completed its second year, PHS Harvest is a collective action initiative, supported by lead sponsor Whole Foods Market, which is focused on increasing food production by empowering participants to plant food crops and share them with neighbors and organizations, such as food banks. This year, 4,938 participants included gardeners in community gardens, religious groups, schools and camps, institutions, and individual growers and donors.

“Food insecurity remains a significant challenge for financially vulnerable families and individuals across our region. PHS is grateful for the thousands of gardeners who literally dug in to plant, grow, harvest, and share produce with their neighbors and with local hunger relief organizations. We are also so thankful for the generosity and dedication that was extended by many donors and Harvest partners.” said Julianne Schrader Ortega, VP and Chief of Healthy Neighborhoods for PHS. “As we continue to wonder how everyday actions can help make our neighborhoods healthier, we can all be inspired by the shining example set forth by those whose dedication made the Harvest program possible.”

Among the top produce donors to PHS Harvest:

  • Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA – 3,111 pounds of produce
  • Spring Gardens, Philadelphia, PA – 2,579 pounds of produce
  • Kennett Middle School Giving Garden, Landenberg, PA – 1,714 pounds of produce
  • Branching Up, Philadelphia, PA – 1,401 pounds of produce
  • PHS Farm Park, Norristown, PA – 843 pounds of produce
  • Chester Eastside Garden Club, Chester, PA – 720 pounds of produce

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, 64 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties faced a food insecurity rate of at least 13%, while the population within 32 of those counties were at least 16.5% food insecure as of September 2020.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Harvest program and its success in feeding neighbors in need,” said Michelle Payne, Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President at Whole Foods Market. “Together, we’ll continue to support our communities across Pennsylvania by improving access to fresh food.”

As part of this initiative, PHS: 

  • Provided local gardeners, groups, and interested individuals with virtual resources on food growing and harvesting, including guides, checklists, and ongoing webinars 
  • Maintained a list of local retailers and nurseries to get supplies and tools 
  • Connected gardeners through social media channels and remote networking opportunities 
  • Partnered with community-based nonprofits to provide gardening supplies to people in historically disinvested communities 
  • Created and engaged community growing spaces to encourage increased food production both now and long-term 
  • Maintained a network of distribution agencies and partners to collect and share produce with local food banks 

Additional participating organizations in the Harvest initiative include: AmpleHarvest.org; Art-Reach; Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden; Chester County Food Bank; Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger; Cooperative Gardens Commission; Delaware Center for Horticulture; Food Bank of Delaware; Food Connect; The Food Trust; Mama-Tee.com Community Fridge; Neighborhood Gardens Trust; North Light Community Center; Philabundance; Share Food Program; and Whole Foods Market.