The PHS City Harvest program taps into the skills and energy of urban gardeners and entrepreneurial growers to make fresh, nutritious produce more widely available to neighbors in need.
Through City Harvest, PHS and its partners have empowered urban gardeners to share the fruits of their labor with families in need. The program is creating an infrastructure of agricultural supply and education centers, as well as expanding fresh food production, distribution, and consumption in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, thereby creating a healthier future for thousands of city residents.
How City Harvest Works
PHS City Harvest is powered by partnerships. With training from PHS staff, inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System grow seedlings at a prison greenhouse, and thousands more seedlings are started at neighborhood-based greenhouses run by nonprofit partners. The inmates receive training in gardening and basic landscaping along with valuable life-skills lessons. 250,000 seedlings are then transplanted and grown in 140 urban farms and gardens throughout the city, as well as in the prison’s onsite garden.
Participating growers distribute the fresh produce in their communities, through food cupboard donations and at farmers markets.
In 2015, PHS City Harvest program introduced 10 new sites, expanding a network that now includes a total of 140 urban gardens and farms. New and seasoned growers attend training sessions hosted by PHS, which are led by agricultural experts who focus on topics such as season extension, organic pest control, food safety, building pollinator habitats, tool care, among others.
City Harvest is made possible through the generous support of:
- An Anonymous Donor
- The Bennett Family Foundation
- The Boeing Company
- The Burpee Foundation
- Green Mountain Energy
- The Forrest C. & Frances Lattner Foundation
- Leo and Peggy Pierce Foundation
- Local Initiatives Fund of RSF Social Finance
- The McLean Contributionship
- Merck Family Fund
- The Panaphil Foundation
- The Philadelphia Prison System Board of Trustees
- The Lawrence Saunders Fund
- Frontier Natural Foods Co-cop and the Simply Organic 1% Fund
- The UNFI Foundation
- United States Department of Agriculture
and The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, founding funder of City Harvest
City Harvest in the News
City Harvest Highlights
- Provides support to local growers who offer organically grown produce in high-need neighborhoods
- Offers nutrition education for recipients of donated food
- Creates and maintains “green resource centers,” a network of neighborhood-based greenhouses that support and empower small-scale, entrepreneurial food growers
- Includes Roots to Re-Entry, an innovative green jobs and reintegration component for prison inmates
- PHS Green Resource Centers serve growers by providing neighborhood-level access to growing supplies and seedlings as well as agricultural experts who offered mentorship to the growers.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, millions of people in America live in “food deserts,” areas that lack easy access to affordable fresh food. Learn More Here.