Company : The GIANT Company
Program category : Health


In May 2022, Empower at the Bridge Foundation and The GIANT Company announced a new partnership to feed underserved families with nutritious foods grown locally while beginning to convert the city of Harrisburg’s food desert into a food oasis. The partnership will result in the “GIANT Bleacher Garden” at the old Bishop McDevitt High School, the future headquarters of The Bridge, Eco-Village in Harrisburg, Pa. Food security and food localization are central to solving challenges surrounding health and wellness disparities, children’s attention spans at school, economic restoration and more. The GIANT Bleacher Garden project aims to grow a healthier community in Harrisburg by repurposing the bleachers at the abandoned school’s football field into sustainable, productive, high-yielding community gardens that will feed underserved families. Immediately following May’s announcement and the garden’s ribbon cutting ceremony, volunteers from The GIANT Company got to work planting the garden. The Bridge is a “for-purpose” real estate development company that acquires old properties like schools, malls, and warehouses, then turns them into “eco-villages” in the inner city. Its future headquarters in Harrisburg is intended to be a totally sustainable and self-contained mixed-use eco-village with housing, commercial/retail properties, co-working space, urban agriculture, an innovation/educational center, and entertainment. The GIANT Bleacher Garden is one of the first steps in bringing the eco-village to life in Harrisburg and improving the well-being of the community.


The GIANT Company’s $90,000 sponsorship over two years will enable The Bridge Foundation to create the GIANT Bleacher Garden. The GIANT Company and Planet Bee Foundation also donated beehives to help with pollination and to produce honey. The company’s team members like to get their hands dirty, so its commitment doesn’t end after the check is written. Since late March, The GIANT Company team members have contributed 150 volunteer hours to help Empower at The Bridge Foundation and Harrisburg City F.A.R.M. bring the garden to life. Volunteers from The GIANT Company will continue lending helping hands to the garden, as the project aligns with their shared commitment to heal our planet and eliminate hunger in the communities they serve. Ultimately, Empower at The Bridge Foundation aims to teach neighbors to grow the food themselves.


The GIANT Company believes that no matter where or how, when meals happen, families connect, and when families connect meaningfully, good happens. Guided by its brand platform, For Today’s Table®, the omni-channel retailer proudly serves millions of neighbors across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Jersey. As an integral part of the communities it serves, The GIANT Company has committed itself to three areas of corporate social responsibility: eliminating hunger, changing children’s lives, and healing our planet. The bleacher garden will address all three by bringing healthy, sustainably grown food to Harrisburg’s food desert. The GIANT Company’s objectives for the bleacher garden include:

• Help eliminate hunger in the Harrisburg food desert with a financial contribution to support the development of the GIANT Bleacher Garden.
• Help heal our planet by providing team member volunteers to support the effort using sustainable practices.
• Raise awareness for this promising model through media coverage.


The GIANT Bleacher Garden anticipates yielding over 6,000 pounds of fresh produce in the first year, with increases of about 25% in subsequent years. This year, that is enough to supply 120 families with 50 pounds each of fresh produce over the growing season. Using sustainable growing practices, the partnership will provide food-insecure families with regular nutritious produce in the months ahead such as lettuces, salad mixes, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, Asian greens, winter squash, eggplant, pumpkins, peas, Bok Choi, potatoes, onions, kale, collard greens, beans, zucchini, herbs, edible flowers and more. Earned media coverage raised awareness for the endeavor with more than 29 media placements, generating nearly 450,000 potential impressions.


“The GIANT Company believes in the incredible power of community partnership in order to make a lasting impact – and this collaboration with the innovative work of Empower at the Bridge Foundation will do just that. The GIANT Bleacher Garden and its regular harvest illustrate our purpose - to connect families for a better future. We are honored to be a part of this unique initiative that will help eliminate hunger, heal our planet, and create a better tomorrow for our neighbors.” - Nicholas Bertram, President, The GIANT Company

“When we work together, communities can be revitalized and success ensured. Today we celebrate a successful public-private partnership. I’m proud to have supported Empower at the Bridge Foundation with $4 million through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to revitalize Harrisburg and provide much needed resources out of the former Bishop McDevitt High School. Separately, The GIANT Company is once again stepping up to feed Pennsylvania, and specifically an underserved community with The GIANT Bleacher Garden. Together, these projects will change lives – and that is the power of partnerships.” - Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on the occasion of the ribbon cutting ceremony