Unprecedented interest in home gardening in 2020 helped boost a fundraiser designed to aid local urban growers.
Between February and December 2020, East End Food Co-op sold 6,359 seed packets to raise $1,589.75 for the Pittsburgh Urban Growers Scholarship. This fund helps urban gardeners and farmers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County access professional development opportunities. Proceeds from the annual Pittsburgh Urban Farm Tour maintained the fund since it was established in 2018. The co-op created the seed fundraiser in 2020 to ensure a steady income for the scholarship, donating 25 cents for every seed packet sold directly to the fund. To date, $3,048.50 in scholarships have been awarded to local urban growers.
“The scholarship has ultimately made Pittsburgh’s urban ag community stronger and more equipped to improve food access and community connections for residents. It has also sent the message to our food growers that they are appreciated and that the services they provide are essential to the health of our communities,” says Karlin Lamberto, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council Project Manager.
Charissa Ruth received scholarship funds to attend Owens Lambing Clinic in Sunbury, PA, and a virtual Cornell Small Farms course.
“As a result of