Grow Pittsburgh Increases Fresh Food Access

Grow Pittsburgh is a resource and guide for backyard, school, community gardeners, and urban farmers across the Greater Pittsburgh region. They teach people how to grow food and the benefits that come from it.

“As we all saw during the pandemic, our food economy and our food system can be unstable at times,” said Executive Director Denele Hughson. “We saw the long lines. We saw the empty shelves. Urban farming and growing your own garden is a useful way to be more sustainable and a way to ensure that you’re having food available for your own family. It is also a way to support your local community.”

Last year, Grow Pittsburgh grew 28,340 pounds of food on urban farms, created 11,054 square feet of new garden area in Allegheny County, and distributed 1,421 Grab & Grow kits to students.

“Working with our local community and seeing the passion people have for growing food always keeps me motivated. Food is our great connector. Everyone needs to eat, and our mission is very easy to relate to…food justice is social justice.”

Hughson adds that besides the obvious health benefits, growing your own food can also benefit your finances.

“That four dollar tomato you’re getting from the grocery store, you can get a whole plant, and you’re growing maybe 20 pounds of tomatoes that summer. With your investment upfront, you get harvest for the entire season.”

This year, Grow Pittsburgh began a five-year strategic plan to improve urban agriculture.

“I wanted to do a five-year plan to make sure that we have enough time to really implement, test, and then, of course, correct as well…making sure that we’re securing food growing projects for years to come and making sure that we’re investing and opening doors for food growing projects throughout our region,” said Hughson. “We’ve been around since 2005. We have our roots. We want to nourish those roots.”

If you are looking for an opportunity to start growing your own food, The Garden Resource Center, a tool lending library provided by Grow Pittsburgh, is open for people to apply. For more information, resources, and to learn more, visit

6587 Hamilton Avenue #2W
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

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