We’re highlighting a really unique partnership we’ve seen blossom in our community. Teens for Food Justice has partnered with Bruce Randolph School (one of our Mobile Food Market locations) to launch a hydroponic farm run entirely by the students! We discovered this program when Bruce Randolph sought us out to distribute excess student-grown produce at our Mobile Food Market. That should give you an idea of how successful these students have been at running this farm!
Teens for Food Justice operates high-capacity hydroponic farms on five school campuses across New York City, and one in our hometown of Denver. The students in grades 6-12 use real-world 21st-century science and technology to grow up to 10,000 pounds (per school) of hydroponic produce annually. Vertical hydroponic farming uses less space and just a tenth of the water resources compared to an outdoor farm, which allows students to grow more produce, more quickly.
The process of growing, caring for, harvesting, and eating the produce equips students with the expertise and hands-on experience needed to combat food insecurity. The locations of these hydroponic farms are not a coincidence. These programs are started in areas specifically chosen based on their need for food access.
Schools are natural community anchors, and Teens for Food Justice combines STEM education, nutrition education, and food-justice advocacy to mold the next generation of agricultural experts. By partnering with We Don’t Waste and servicing our distribution network, TFFJ and WDW are working together to create an immediate and inter-generational impact on ending food insecurity in Bruce Randolph’s neighborhood.
We Don’t Waste has received hundreds of pounds of excess greens for our Bruce Randolph markets since the program kicked off in the summer of 2022. At each of these markets, we typically serve between 150 to 200 families. The students’ view of food is transformed, and their community can reap the benefits as well!
Produce is one of the most culturally universal foods, and one of the most requested food groups across all of We Don’t Waste’s Mobile Food Markets. We are thrilled to be able to receive this produce from the Bruce Randolph School, and are grateful to Teens for Food Justice for making this program possible!