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Planting With Purpose: PHS Introduces a new food initiative

As the world faces the challenges of COVID-19, the fear of diminishing access to fresh food and produce grows nationwide. The greater Philadelphia area ranks in the top 10 U.S. cities with the highest number of food insecure residents, with more than 12% of the population in the region before the pandemic. In Philadelphia County, the number is higher than the national average, with an estimated 302,685 people living with food insecurity and increasing.

This growing season, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is working with partners throughout the region to mobilize thousands of people to increase their garden’s food production, and share the harvest with their families, their communities, and local food pantries by pledging their participation in
PHS currently works with more than 300,000 gardeners, volunteers and partners to garden and improve the health and wellbeing of the region. The organization’s long history of supporting community gardeners in their efforts to strengthen their neighborhoods includes the PHS City Harvest program, where 129 garden and production sites are actively growing and sharing food with their neighbors and with local food cupboards. Given the pressing needs today, the Harvest 2020 initiative ramps up PHS’s efforts to encourage more home gardeners to take action.  

“For decades, many of our neighbors in Philadelphia have struggled to access enough food to live healthy, active lives,” says Matt Rader, PHS President. “PHS is able to bring together our community to garden for the greater good in partnership with many local hunger relief agencies and community partners to provide the backbone for the Harvest 2020 initiative.”

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