BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but VINES is busy turning some new money into tasty fruits and vegetables.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo announced $125,000 dollars in grants for VINES or Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments.

VINES is an organization that builds and grows urban farms and gardens in order to create a sustainable community food system.

$50,000 was awarded last year as part of the 2021 state budget, and the second grant was an additional $75,000 in this year’s budget.

Lupardo says that she is pleased to recognize the work done by VINES with grants two years in a row.

“Hundreds of people in our community are taking advantage of wholesome, fresh, locally grown food,” Lupardo says. “So, Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, are not only improving neighborhood environments, they’re improving neighborhood health, and they’re approving awareness of where food comes from, and educating our youth.”

VINES Executive Director, Amelia LoDolce says that the funds will go toward community gardens, the farm share program, youth employment program, and more.

This year’s upcoming community garden will mark VINES’ 22nd site in its 15 years of operation.

For more information go to www.vinesgarden.org.