DILLSBURG, PA. — Twenty Pennsylvania meat and poultry processors were the recipients of $1.58 million in reimbursement grants. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Cheryl Cook announced the recipients of the 2022-23 Very Small Meat and Poultry Processors Reimbursement Grants on Dec. 21.

The grants were created under the PA Farm Bill in 2019 to help small processors grow their capacity to meet the demand for local meat.

"This crucial grant helps small processors feed local demand," Cook said. "We saw vividly during the pandemic that shorter supply chains not only give customers the local products they crave, but help small producers beef up their bottom lines and stay in business when large, multi-state operations may struggle."

Cook made the announcement at Cabin Hollow Butcher Shop in Dillsburg, Pa., where the owner and president, Darryl Jones, received a $100,000 grant.

"Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been buying more food to keep at home, which has created large backlogs of jobs for processors like us," Jones said. "Through the grant, our facility can purchase high-efficiency equipment that will increase production by 500%, shortening wait times, serving more customers, and allowing us to share more with our community."

Since the Very Small Meat and Poultry Processors Grant’s creation, it has reimbursed $2 million toward the expansion of 35 businesses. The current round of grants represents the fourth year of distribution.

“With grants like the Very Small Meat and Poultry Processors Grant, we're building a firm bedrock to support our communities and commonwealth for the future,” Cook said.

A full list of 2022-23 recipients can be found here.