Back September The Dayton Foodbank unveiled its new hydroponic greenhouse. It was a way to serve more fresh, locally grown vegetables to food insecure residents in the Miami Valley.
In mid-December, she started harvesting her first batch of locally grown greens.
Lauren Tappel, director of development and marketing for the food bank, said the harvest comes at a time when the food bank typically sees an increase in food aid during the holidays.
“Winter can often be more difficult on family budgets, so it’s exciting to harvest lettuce for the first time just because it’s a big milestone for us,” Tappel said. customers who may really need our support.
Most of the bags of harvested greens were distributed to customers who drove to food banks.
In recent years, the food bank has increased its gardening capacity. He added a composting facility and even a bucket composting program to help minimize food waste. Since the start of its gardening program, the food bank has collected over 30,000 pounds of produce.
Tappel said the on-site grow facilities not only benefit families in need of food, but also serve as a learning tool for the community.
“A lot of us feel disconnected from our food system,” Tappel said. “So being able to create that connection in an area closer to the city and the urban core is also very exciting. “
The greenhouse is just another way for the food bank to add more sustainable and beneficial solutions to food insecurity in the Miami Valley, according to Tappel.
The food bank will again distribute more leafy greens harvested in January as well as other essential foods – which are still available at the food bank or at its store. partner agencies – for all those who need it.
Food journalist Alejandro Figueroa is a member of the corps for Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms.