Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ), in partnership with Whole Kids Foundation, and the inventive and industrious students of Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Campus opened the doors to their school sustaining hydroponic farm for local elected officials, the media and notable industry members. The students, in conjunction with dedicated staff and community members, have been working to build, grow, and maintain a working and blossoming hydroponic farm on campus that serves the school community.
The young urban farmers experience the meaningful rewards of building a tangible, working solution to food insecurity throughout New York City and in their neighborhood communities. Just last month, students harvested over 700 pounds of fresh produce, such as kale and lettuce, and have been serving them in the school cafeteria during lunch. The successful launch has put them on track to grow over 10,000 pounds of produce for their school and community this year.
Teens for Food Justice, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to healthy, affordable food through youth-led, community-based solutions, currently operates three high-capacity school-based hydroponic farms in NYC serving seven schools in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Together, these farms are expected to grow in excess of 30,000 pounds of produce annually that feed students daily at lunch and their local communities on an ongoing basis.
“Almost six years ago, we were looking for a way to improve food quality for our students. After meeting with Hunter College President Jennifer Raab and Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center Executive Director Charles Platkin, we came up with a few ideas but the one that had the most promise was the hydroponic farm. We are very proud that what started as a small project for the students in the Manhattan Hunter Science High School, is now feeding the entire campus and has become a model for others around the city”, said Kevin Froner, Manhattan Hunter Science Principal.