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Miami foodbank adds new greenhouse to urban farm

The Dayton Foodbank revealed its new hydroponic greenhouse on Monday. With the new space, the Foodbank is planning to serve more fresh, locally grown vegetables to residents facing food insecurity in the Miami Valley.

The Foodbank’s urban farm sits on what used to be an old asphalt parking lot. Instead of parked cars, today there are rows of fruits and vegetables, and even a composter made out of a recycled shipping container.

The Foodbank’s latest addition is a 6,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse, with a staff of up to six people growing leafy greens. It will be named the Beverly K. Greenehouse, in honor of a Dayton businessman’s wife, Tom Greene, who donated funds for the greenhouse.

James Hoffer is the garden manager at the Foodbank. He said vegetables such as lettuce and spinach are nutritious foods that food-insecure households often don’t get enough of.

“It's one of the main things that people miss in their diets the most,” Hoffer said. “So we looked at what's tough for us to distribute and what was tough for us to get and keep fresh. But then also, you know, what's going to give people the nutrients that they need.”

The greenhouse will begin operation in early September. The Foodbank expects to produce up to 100,000 heads of lettuce a year.

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