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.

A Small and Mighty grant of $15,000 announced in January 2019 will assist Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op (BUGS) in implementing a 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. 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. This Homewood-based organization. It also educates community members about the holistic benefits of urban gardening and farming.

With the help of a previous Small and Mighty grant in 2018 of $16,500, 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.

The Small and Mighty grants program, an outcome of the Foundation’s 100 Percent Pittsburgh organizing principle, has awarded $308,821 in 2018 to 22 local nonprofit organizations with budgets of less than $600,000.

BUGS aims to educate and assist black people in establishing and maintaining gardens and small farms, supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to residents. The Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op has an annual operating budget of $53,000.

In the first round of Small and Mighty funding, announced in March 2017, a total of $230,000 was awarded to 18 organizations. To date, Small and Mighty has awarded $879,000 in grants to 40 organizations.

To learn more about BUGS, visit https://www.facebook.com/blackurbangardeners/

Read about the Small and Mighty initiative