Members of Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood gathered at Garfield Community Farm on Friday to commemorate the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed in 2022. The Inflation Reduction Act addresses climate change by providing economic incentives to produce clean energy and reduce carbon emissions. It also addresses economic inflation and food insecurity.
Garfield Community Farm workers and members of Climate Action Campaign spoke, as well as Chief Pomaj-chakmam-yajalaji, who is a member of the Three Rivers Agriculture Land Initiative. State Sen. Lindsey Williams and Congresswoman Summer Lee, both Democrats from Pennsylvania, also spoke.
“So I wanted to come today to talk about the Inflation Reduction Act, which the name doesn’t do it justice,” Congresswoman Lee said to several dozen attendants. “Because it’s not a just about inflation reduction. But indeed, this was one of our biggest and most unprecedented investments in climate justice and climate resiliency that we’ve seen at the federal level.”
Urban farmers like those in Garfield hope their operations could potentially benefit from this legislation, too. The act did provide more than $3 billion to the USDA to help struggling farmers.
Alyson McAtee is an urban permaculture apprentice at Garfield Community Farm who has worked with the organization for two years. She says farmers face challenges regarding wages and benefits.
“Across the board, farmers are paid extremely low wages and don’t have access to health care,” McAtee said.
Garfield Community Farm’s mission is to increase access to fresh produce and educational opportunities, and to demonstrate ecological restoration with urban agriculture.
“The work that we do is central to creating a food independent neighborhood where people have access to healthy, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables,” McAtee said.
The presentations were followed by a guided tour around the three-acre farm.