A high-capacity hydroponic farm that is built by students was recently jointly launched by New York City Council member and vegan Helen Rosenthal and nonprofit organization Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ). The farm is located at New York City’s Martin Luther King Jr. Educational campus. If you didn’t know already TFFJ works towards ensuring universal access to healthy and affordable food.
Thanks to this vertical farm, which is nothing short of being innovative, more than 2,000 students will have access to leafy greens and herbs to be used in cafeteria lunches. These students would be from the six co-located schools on the campus.
This entire program will benefit the neighboring communities, too, as they can buy the excess produce nicely wrapped in food boxes. The primary goal of this operation is to offer the students a chance to experience the process of building a meaningful, working solution for the all-important food security.
TFFJ is pulling all stops in making the program as beneficial as possible. In this pursuit, it is bringing in educators who will teach the students about urban agriculture, entrepreneurship (through the food boxes), and also lead projects on food desserts.
Council member Rosenthal shows an ardent and unapologetic passion for the project due to her commitment to veganism, sustainable food production, and food justice. Not only did she facilitate a major portion of the farm’s funding, but also tackled some of the bureaucratic shackles.
Other supporters of the project included Whole Foods Market, United Way of New York City, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and New York City’s Hunter College.
The students have a target to grow about 10,000 pounds of produce for their school and community. And it looks like they are on track as last month’s harvest was more than 700 pounds.