Freedom Foods Grocer Spring Equinox Groundbreaking Ceremony

Presented By lack Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-Op & The House of Manna

Join the Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers Of Pittsburgh Co-Op & The House of Manna on March 20, 2023, from 6 - 8 p.m. at 7420 Frankstown Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15208, for the groundbreaking ceremony of Freedom Foods Grocer.

Freedom Foods Grocer is a cooperatively owned grocery store that will feature the produce grown in our gardens, staples such as dried goods, meat, and milk, and value-added products made by BUGS and other members of the Pittsburgh community. Grocery shoppers will once again have access to a variety of organic and homegrown fruits, vegetables, and products right in their neighborhood. Residents can use federal food assistance benefits and credit/debit cards to buy fresh local food easily. Adults and families enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are encouraged to participate by purchasing fruits, vegetables, plant starters, meat, dairy, bread, and other eligible foods.

Homewood and the surrounding communities are food apartheid areas that lack access to consistently available, fresh and healthy food options. Unfortunately, hunger is not only a persistent issue in Homewood; it affects the entire state of Pennsylvania.

  1. On average, nearly 1 out of 10 Pennsylvania households, or 9.2%, were food insecure between 2019-2021.1
  2. More than 59% of SNAP participants are families with children under the age of 18.1
  3. Nationally, African-Americans participating in the SNAP program account for 25.8%2, despite being 14.2% of the United States population.3

These factors contribute to the disbursement of SNAP benefits, which averages about $144 a month. Despite this nutrition assistance, many people still need help to afford fresh, healthy food. Freedom Foods Grocer intends to help low-income shoppers stretch their benefits and put more fresh fruits and vegetables on their families tables.

In addition to providing affordable, healthy, locally grown food to low-income community members, this initiative will bolster our local economy, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space.

The solution is food security, social justice, and equity in our community.

The Black Urban Gardeners and Farmer's Co-op of Pittsburgh (BUGS) was established in 2015 to grow food and foster a strong community within the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh. We are a grassroots organization that convenes a collective of black agriculturalists to work together to pursue food sovereignty, and we vigorously promote and encourage new membership. We believe that our strong relationships in our neighborhood, cooperative model, and commitment to high-quality nutrition will provide us with long-term success and a positive impact on our community.

Reference List

1 United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, (2020). Pennsylvania - Who Participates in SNAP? USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

2 United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, (2019). Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2019. USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

3 Moslimani, M., Tamir, C., Budiman, A., Noe-Bustamante, L., & Mora, L. (2023, March 9). Facts about the U.S. Black Population. Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

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