The GIANT Co., https://giantfoodstores.com, recently announced the more than 100 recipients of its emergency grant program. Announced last month in partnership with Team Pennsylvania, https://teampa.com, The GIANT Co. originally designated $250,000 for the program, but due to the overwhelming response, the company decided to double the amount of funding available to $500,000. In all, the company is awarding 110 grants to help support small businesses in Pennsylvania’s food supply chain impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Reviewing more than 500 applications from small businesses across the commonwealth confirmed what we knew in our hearts: that the pandemic is having a devastating impact on our small business community,” said Nicholas Bertram, president, The GIANT Co. “We’re inspired by the strength and stories of these local businesses that, in many cases, have been serving our communities for generations. As a company focused on connecting families for a better future, doubling the funding to $500,000 was an easy decision because it meant we could provide more hope and help to these hard-working families and let them know that they are not alone.”
More than 500 applications were received during the two-week application period, with more than 60 in the first 24 hours. The 110 recipients span the entire commonwealth and represent multiple areas of the food supply chain including: dairy farms; beef, pork and poultry farms; processors; orchards; produce farms; apiaries; maple syrup producers; artisan cheesemakers; craft breweries, winemakers and cider producers; specialty yogurt, snack, sauce and condiment manufacturers; a coffee roastery and confectioner.
“Our team was honored to work together with GIANT to truly make a difference for small businesses in the commonwealth as they answer the call to feed fellow Pennsylvanians,” said Ryan Unger, president and CEO, Team Pennsylvania. “Reading through the applications it is crystal clear that we all need to find ways to support these critical cogs in our agricultural supply chain. Their experiences will inform us as we work with our economic development and public sector partners to reopen and recover.”
In addition, with grants ranging from $2,500 up to $15,000, 55 percent of grants awarded are going to PA Preferred companies and special designations (LGBT-owned, veteran-owned, women-owned, minority-owned, USDA defined beginner rancher/farmer, USDA defined socially disadvantaged and limited resource farmer) account for more than half of the grants awarded.
The following local small businesses are the recipients of an emergency grant from The GIANT Co.:
-- Central Penn Distilling Inc. DBA Mason Dixon Distillery, Gettysburg
-- Fruit Hollow Farms LLC, Biglerville
-- Grand Illusion Hard Cider, Carlisle
-- Guilside Farm, Chambersburg
-- Harrisburg Dairies Inc., Harrisburg
-- Hollabaugh Bros. Inc., Biglerville
-- Keswick Creamery at Carrock Farm LLC, Newburg
-- Paulus Mount Airy Orchard, Mechanicsburg
-- Rettland Farms LLC, Gettysburg
-- Roy-Pitz Brewing Co., Chambersburg
-- Terranetti’s Italian Bakery, Mechanicsburg
-- TorchBearer Sauces LLC, Mechanicsburg
“We have been in business since 1887 and we are a 5th generation family run business. We’ve been through the Great Depression, floods and fire, but this is by far the worst in modern memory because not only does it affect us but it affects ALL of our customers - no one is left out,” said Karen Thompson, Clair D. Thompson and Son’s Inc. in Jersey Shore, and one of the grant recipients. “It has been very stressful, and this grant has helped to alleviate some of that pressure. We are extremely grateful and appreciate The GIANT Co. for this grant that we shall use to continue our employees’ insurance benefits during the time they are forced off work, to help with expenses to continue additional sanitation and to upgrade our facility to meet this new market demand for individual packaging.”
The GIANT Co. and Team Pennsylvania also worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Chamber, and Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association to develop the program.