Inspiration to Action Breakfast

By: Sara Innamorato

What do you talk about over breakfast when you have some of Pittsburgh’s most predominate local food advocates, policy makers, grant makers, and health and university officials in the same room with Growing Power’s Will Allen?


Well not dirt exactly, but nutritionally dense soil.

This was the topic of conversation this morning at the Hill House’s Kaufmann Center, when representatives from Grow Pittsburgh, Community Kitchen Pittsburgh, Just Harvest, Chatham University, the City of Pittsburgh, the Allegheny Health Department and other neighborhood-based organization, like the Ujamaa Collective, Community WorkZ and Bible Center of Homewood, came together.

Yes soil, soil could be a solution to Pittsburgh communities create fair paying jobs for pay youth and those with criminal records, reclaiming some of the over 28,000 vacant lots in the City, reduce criminal activities and help create resilient Pittsburgh neighborhoods. It’s soil that could possible help propel communities in Pittsburgh, specifically those with high level of vacancy, into the future.

“Once the kids get their hands in the soil, it touches them in a way that they want to protect it. We’ve seen a crime activity shift because of the kids helping out in the garden.” – Ayanna Ra’uf, MOSIAC

What do you think about soil being the future of urban agriculture and food access in Pittsburgh? Share your thoughts below.


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