Local church among those to receive grants to help fight food injustice

The city Department of Health recently announced that a South Philly church is among a dozen local organizations to receive a total of $370,000 in grants as part of the Philadelphia Food Justice Initiative.

The Church of the Redeemer Baptist, located at 24th and Dickinson streets, was included as part of the initiative’s goal to increase access to healthier foods to combat food injustice throughout the city.

“Where you live should not determine your food options, but that is the reality for too many Philadelphians,” said Amanda Wagner, the program manager for Nutrition and Physical Activity at the health department, in a press release. “Food access differences across neighborhoods are symptoms of structural racism, disinvestment and other inequities. This initiative re-invests in community dreams and solutions for food justice.”

The church has been doing its part to accomplish the initiative’s goals through its Growing Together Garden, which helps to provide its neighborhood with fresh fruits and vegetables. The grant money will help the church restore the garden by replacing garden plots to provide garden space and acquiring supplies for gardeners. 

PFJI, with funding coming courtesy of the Reinvestment Fund and Wells Fargo, has looked to support community-driven solutions to providing better access to healthier foods in areas that need it most. It has provided over $1.25 million in grants since its launch in 2019.

“Building equitable food systems is integral to Reinvestment Fund’s mission, and this work has never been more crucial than in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Molly Hartman, the senior program director at Reinvestment Fund.