The Pittsburgh Foundation

Small and Mighty: The Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op

Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh educates and assists black people in maintaining gardens and small farms to address the food desert problem that persists in many majority-black communities.

This Homewood-based organization educates community members about the holistic benefits of urban gardening and farming. A Small and Mighty grant of $15,000 announced in January 2019 will assist BUGS in implementing its nutrition education program, allow focus groups to provide feedback regarding the building of a co-op grocery store and recruit community members to attend a community farmers market. 

With the help of a previous Small and Mighty grant, BUGS completed Homewood’s first temporary outdoor greenhouse, or hoop house, for community use. Volunteer days are organized for participants of all ages to help maintain the cleanliness of the neighborhood and combat food insecurity. Small and Mighty grants have also assisted BUGS in implementing its nutrition education program, allowing focus groups to provide feedback regarding the building of a co-op grocery store and recruiting community members to attend a community farmers market. 

BUGS aims to educate and assist black people in establishing and maintaining gardens and small farms, supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to residents. Established in 2015, Homewood-based BUGS seeks, through farmer’s markets and free food distributions, to address the food desert problem that persists in many majority-black communities. The Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op has an annual operating budget of $50,470.

In the first round of Small and Mighty funding, announced in March 2017, a total of $230,000 was awarded to 18 organizations.  The Small and Mighty grants program, an outcome of the Foundation’s 100 Percent Pittsburgh organizing principle, brings the total awarded through the Small and Mighty program since its inception in 2016 to $879,000. 

To learn more about BUGS, visit their Facebook page.

Read about the Small and Mighty initiative