OUR FARM: The Greener Side of Second Harvest Heartland
Hyper-local, sustainable, nutritious. When talking about produce in this decade, you’ll often hear these three words or synonymous phrases describing ideal produce. Greens like spinach, lettuce and kale are some of the most sought-after and nutritionally-dense foods, making them high-demand items at food shelves. But, these leafy greens are nearly impossible for us to source and distribute to our neighbors because of how they’re grown and have such a short shelf life.
To provide more leafy greens, Second Harvest Heartland recently started operating OUR FARM, an enclosed, vertical garden that grows fresh, highly nutritious greens year-round inside our facility with minimal environmental impact.
In the initial phase, Second Harvest Heartland partnered with two agency partner programs to get the greens to hungry families. Waite House is one of the first organizations to receive produce from OUR FARM. Each Monday, the agency gets a delivery of five or six boxes of greens to use in their daily community café meals.
“Our chefs are enjoying it because of the story that comes alongside the food that we’re giving out,” shared Ethan Neal, Food and Health Equity Coordinator at Waite House. “But it’s also another opportunity for us to give a voice to our community.”
That community voice is an important part of OUR FARM. As the grower, Second Harvest Heartland is responding to specific requests for greens made by the local community. The goal is to help offer many options as people chart their own course for healthy eating so all of our neighbors have the food they need.
Learn more about OUR FARM and other Produce Initiatives at Second Harvest Heartland.