The Giant Company, formerly Giant Food Stores, has launched a $250,000 emergency grant program to help small businesses in Pennsylvania’s food supply chain impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant said Friday that the emergency agricultural assistance, coordinated in partnership with nonprofit Team Pennsylvania, will go to support farms, food processors and other small food businesses in the state that have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies of 250 employees or fewer involved in growing, making or processing food in the state are eligible, with a maximum award of $15,000 per business.
“As Pennsylvania’s second-largest private employer, and as a company that has been able to continue operating during the coronavirus pandemic, The Giant Company has a responsibility to help mitigate the economic impact in the commonwealth,” President Nicholas Bertram said in a statement. “From family farms to local food artisans and manufacturers throughout the rest of the supply chain, small businesses are hurting, and livelihoods are at risk. These men and women are instrumental in feeding Pennsylvanians, and we want to do our part to help them in their time of need.”
Applications for the grants are now being accepted online by Team Pennsylvania through April 24. Recipients are slated to be notified in early May.
To develop the grant program, Giant and Team Pennsylvania worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Economic and Community Development, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Chamber and Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association.
Harrisburg, Pa.-based Team Pennsylvania is a not-for-profit organization established in 1997 to connect private- and public-sector leaders to drive programs to improve the state’s economy and competitiveness.
“Bringing the public and private sectors together to solve our biggest challenges is what we do at Team Pennsylvania,” commented President and CEO Ryan Unger. “We are proud and grateful to partner with The Giant Company on this endeavor that will provide some relief to companies in the commonwealth working tirelessly to keep our agricultural economy and food supply going.”
Part of Ahold Delhaize USA, Giant has been an active supporter of Pennsylvania food vendors and producers. Last June, for example, the grocer launched PA Preferred shelf tags at all of its Pennsylvania stores to make it easier for customers to find products grown or made in the state.
During the coronavirus emergency, Giant has taken an array of steps to keep its stores safe for shoppers and employees while supplying food to Pennsylvanians and other customers across its Mid-Atlantic trade area. In late March, for instance, the retailer launched new social media campaign called #MoreForAll to urge shoppers not to hoard groceries.
“Our collaboration with Team Pennsylvania is the latest effort Giant is undertaking as we do our part to help the commonwealth through the pandemic,” Bertram added. “With these emergency grants, we hope to provide some relief to keep people employed, strengthen businesses and keep Pennsylvanians fed.”
Overall, Giant has nearly 190 stores, 132 pharmacies, 105 fuel stations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and operates over 125 online pickup hubs and grocery delivery service in hundreds of ZIP codes.
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