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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.1 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Develop Local Food Supply Chains and Diversify the Regional Economy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.1 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education to develop local food supply chains in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This grant will facilitate the immediate development of locally accessible food in Philadelphia. The food will be grown using agriculture technologies designed for urban locations, allowing for locally owned supply chains and business to grow in the greater Philadelphia region. This EDA grant will be matched with $277,407 in local funds.

“President Biden supports local efforts to diversify regional economies and to build back better following the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment awarded to the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education will support an expansion of the urban agriculture market, which is critical to strengthening local food supply chains, and will promote job creation and economic resilience in the Philadelphia region.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led strategies to build resilient and robust local economies” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support communities of color as they rebuild their economies by providing them with the tools they need to scale the urban agricultural community.”

“This $1.1 million is an opportunity to bridge the divide for those who have had unequal access to fresh, nutritious food for too long,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “But more than investing in food for those who need it today, it’s providing infrastructure to ensure access remains for years to come. This is a significant step toward ending food apartheid for the Philadelphia region.”

“I am thrilled to see CARES Act funding being used to develop local supply chains in Philadelphia,” said Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05). “The benefits of this investment will be two-fold – increasing access to healthy food and bringing jobs to our regional economy. Philadelphia is one of the hungriest cities in the nation, with more than 20 percent of residents facing food insecurity, so we need to use every tool at our disposal to alleviate hunger. By utilizing technology to expand urban agriculture in our area, we can strengthen local supply chains and increase access to fresh foods. This project will also support job creation and help ensure a more sustainable economic future for the Philadelphia region.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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