US (WI): Growing towers helps feeding 50-100 people a day

The Community Table in Eau Claire has adopted one of the latest enhancements to gardening. The new tool will allow the non-profit to supply fresh produce, while also conserving water, energy, and money. All thanks to a gift from a community partner.

For 28 years The Community Table has been committed to fighting food insecurity in Eau Claire. “We serve anywhere from 50-100 people per day,” said Community Table Executive Producer, TJ Atkins. Operations Manager Peter Raleigh says the non-profit heavily relies on donations to feed their guests.

“We're always dependent on the generosity of other people,” Raleigh said. Now thanks to a special donation from Marshfield Clinic, The Community Table has more control over what they put on other’s plates.

“A hydroponic garden is a garden that is self-contained you don’t need soil you don’t even need light it just everything is in the unit there are pearl lights that work on a schedule,” said Community Benefits Coordinator for Marshfield, JoAnna Bernklau says the hydroponic garden will allow The Community Table to harvest lettuce, spinach, fruits and more all year long.

“We know a number of individuals are food insecure and have a hard time getting access to food let alone nutritious food, when you don’t have access to healthy nutritious food it makes it really hard to perform well in other areas of your life,” Bernklau said. Raleigh says at very little cost to the non-profit this garden should be able to supply fresh lettuce each day.

Atkins says this garden is filling in a huge gap. “In the fall and in the winter those things get hard to get where now we can grow our own and not worry about an expense, we can now use towards something else our guests may need,” Atkins said.

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