Indoor Grow Machine Increases Quality, Availability of Fresh Greens

C children throughout northeast Wisconsin are eating more fresh greens and even learning to grow it themselves, thanks to an innovative program operated by Feeding Wisconsin Eastern Wisconsin.

The Indoor Grow Machine is patented agriculture technology that grows a large amount of food in a small amount of space with minimal use of energy and water. In partnership with Fork Farms, we are currently placing these units in schools and nonprofits with the goal of increasing the quality, availability and affordability of fresh food.

We are working to prove that when students experience planting, growing and harvesting their own food, they form a deeper connection to their food, which leads to improved health outcomes. As part of this program students learn lessons in STEM, agriculture and health and wellness subjects.

Providing Fresh Greens to Families in Crisis

Providing healthy food for their children is a top priority for any parent. When a family is in crisis, that burden becomes even heavier.
That’s why Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is working with community organizations like the Sojourner Family Peace Center to connect those in crisis
with healthy food. Feeding America recently installed two of its Indoor Grow Machines at Sojourner, one of the nation’s first co-located child advocacy and family violence centers. The partnership provides benefits far beyond the healthy food produced by the indoor gardens.

“The hydroponic units give individuals the opportunity to get involved in the growing process of their own food,” said Lily Grant, Development and Volunteer Coordinator at the Sojourner Family Peace Center. “I’d like our clients to have a sense of ownership and accomplishment from the food we’re producing together.”
The fresh food will also be used in the Sojourner Truth House Crisis Shelter, where residents are able to cook their own meals. “We’re also hoping to offer
healthy cooking classes so our clients can learn some new recipes and try ingredients they’ve never had access to before,” said Lily.

“Any discussion on solving hunger must take into account factors that affect women’s ability to produce, process and prepare food for their families,”
said Patti Habeck, president of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. “I am thrilled that this partnership will help clients of Sojourner Peace Center feel empowered through the experience of growing their own food.”

The Grow Machine is patented agriculture technology, and part of an innovative program operated by Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
Each unit grows 288 plants in a four-by four foot space, and produces 15 to 20 pounds of greens in about four weeks.

Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin installed two hydroponic units in The Sojourner Family Peace Center last fall and planted seeds that will produce nearly 1,600 pounds of lettuce each year for its shelter and given free-of-charge to its clients. The units were generously donated to the center by the Strauss Family and Danola Family.

Together we can solve hunger. Here’s how.