CARLISLE, Pa. – The GIANT Co. on Wednesday announced a new $250,000 grant program designed to support projects that build on environmental stewardship by connecting families with community green spaces. Developed in partnership with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, GIANT’s Healing the Planet grant program will begin accepting online applications on June 1.
“Our latest grant program combines two of The GIANT Company’s key values – healing our planet and connecting families,” said Jessica Groves, manager of social impact for the retailer. “By partnering with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, we can help inspire action in our local communities to increase access to and improve community green spaces and support environmental restoration efforts. No matter how big or how small, we can’t wait for these projects to come to life, make a difference for our planet and provide families an opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors together.”
Applications will be accepted on the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website from June 1- 30. Eligible projects must be located in GIANT’s operating areas within Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia. Projects could include park improvements, park builds, watershed restoration, recycling, beautification and greening, community gardens, farmers markets, vacant lot restoration, outdoor classrooms, and tree plantings. A total of $250,000 in funding is available, with grants ranging from $2,500- $25,000. Awardees will be announced in late summer.
“People have flocked to the outdoors amid the novel coronavirus restrictions. Our natural and shared green spaces have been invaluable to our physical and mental health during these extraordinary times. Outdoor space significantly benefits communities by enhancing quality of life and promoting healthy lifestyles,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “We are honored to partner with The GIANT Company to make grants available to agencies and organizations who may have seen funding redirected in response to the pandemic. We’re looking forward to being a part of increased and improved access to the great outdoors.”
GIANT and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful also announced that they have distributed 20 free benches, made of recycled plastic bags, to community organizations. Customers can recycle plastic bags at any GIANT or MARTIN’S location. It takes about 10,000 plastic bags to make one park bench. Since 2001, more than 1,800 benches have been donated to local fire departments, churches, schools, townships, parks, and playgrounds. To request a bench, visit giantfoodstores.com/pages/donations.
To commemorate Earth Day 2021, the two organizations are hosting a tree planting and park clean-up event in Philadelphia on Thursday. Volunteers from both organizations will spend the morning cleaning up Pennypack Park, a 65-acre park located in the northeast section of the city.
GIANT said it is also inviting its customers to get involved. Through May 31, customers can round up their purchase at any GIANT, MARTIN’S or GIANT Heirloom Market store at checkout. The funds donated in this way benefit Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Planet Bee Foundation (a nonprofit organization focused on driving awareness for pollinators in local communities) and Rodale Institute, the leading voice in developing solutions for the regenerative organic movement.
As part of its ‘healing the planet’ initiative, GIANT is committed to plastic bag recycling and plastic reduction efforts, zero-waste initiatives, a solar field and bee pollinator habitat, energy-efficient fixtures in-stores, and sustainably sourced seafood, coffee and tea. More information is available here.