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:
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:
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.