Giant announces 2023 Healing the Planet grant program

CARLISLE — The Giant Company, in partnership with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, will award $300,000 in grants to projects aimed at food waste prevention, reduction and recovery.

The grants will be awarded as part of the grocery chain’s Healing the Planet grant program. Applications are being accepted online for projects across Giant’s operating area in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. Grant amounts of $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 are available.

“As a grocer, we are tackling the issue of food waste in our operations every day,” Jessica Groves, company community impact manager, said in a statement. “Understanding that we all can make changes to divert food waste for our landfills, this year we are focusing on projects which specifically take steps to address this issue.”

Applications for the 2023 Healing the Planet grant program are being accepted online through April 13, via the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website. To be eligible, a project must be shovel ready with any required permits already secured, according to information on the program website.

Projects must address food waste prevention, reduction and/or recovery, and can include community composting, increased access to compost for agricultural producers, educational programs regarding food waste prevention, reduction and recovery and diversion of food waste from landfills, according to a press release.

Community gardens are eligible for grant funding but must have a food waste prevention, reduction and/or recovery component, such as education.

Eligible expenses include: building materials, equipment, signage, education expenses, fencing, tools and supplies. Installation and shipping costs are also eligible for support. Applicants can allocate up to 10% for grant administration, and up to 25% of the total budget for staffing. No more than 25% of the total budget can be used for staff and grant administration costs combined.

Grant awardees will be announced in June.

The application asks for information about the organization and requires the submission of a status update, according to the online application. In addition, applicants are asked to indicate when the project is expected to begin and be completed, where the project is located, and provide a description of the project.

This is the third year Giant has partnered with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to offer Healing the Planet grants. In the past two years, more than $800,000 has been awarded to 87 recipients for projects that connected people and families to green spaces and improved or helped to protect local waterways and water resources, according to the release.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is excited to learn about the many inventive ways food waste is being prevented, reduced and recovered,” Shannon Reiter, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful president, said in a statement. “Not only do these types of projects save natural resources and reduce the amount of material that enters the waste stream, they can also potentially provide food security to those in need.”

In addition, customers can support Giant’s healing the planet initiatives. Through May 31, customers can round up their purchase at any Giant, Martin’s or Giant Heirloom Market store at checkout. Funds donated through this initiative will benefit Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Rodale Institute and Planet Bee Foundation.

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