Bridgeway recently supported Perry’s Honeydripper as a provider of fruits and vegetables to the Homewood community. The market opened in 2014 offering prepared foods and dry goods, but the Perrys soon realized their customers were hungry for fresher fare as well. They tried creating a storefront produce section to meet the need, but ongoing access to the outdoor display was limited by the weather.
“Bridgeway understood we could do more for Homewood with a little support. The new equipment makes produce a bigger part of what we do…”
– James Perry, Owner of Perry’s Honeydripper
Perry’s Honeydripper received a grant from Bridgeway for refrigeration equipment so the market could sell produce all year long. With the city now besieged by snow and frigid temperatures, the grant was crucial and timely. Owner James Perry observed that “Bridgeway understood we could do more for Homewood with a little support. The new equipment makes produce a bigger part of what we do, instead of a more seasonal thing.” Click here to ready more about the Perrys in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article by Diana Nelson Jones.
Perry’s Honeydripper is another early win for Bridgeway’s Healthy Foods Opportunity Initiative. To help improve healthy food access in low-income areas, Bridgeway garnered support from The Heinz Endowments, the Hillman Family Foundation, and the US Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund. The initiative is already helping to alleviate Pittsburgh’s urban food deserts, and Bridgeway’s agenda for the region remains ambitious.
Bridgeway is ramping up implementation of the initiative While the initiative’s first successes were all in Pittsburgh, Bridgeway will be developing healthy foods financing opportunities across western Pennsylvania, including the areas served by Bridgeway’s Erie and Uniontown offices.
“This initiative tackles two persistent and pervasive problems in low-income areas. We’re encouraging economic activity and healthy food access in neighborhoods that urgently need both” commented Mark Peterson, Bridgeway’s President and CEO. “The new team member is going to help Bridgeway double its efforts in this area, and we’re looking forward to supporting more community-minded entrepreneurs like the Perrys.”