US (PA): Company donation to help fund university's hydroponic facility

The Giant Company donated $20,000 to Harrisburg University of Science and Technology to fund the purchase of equipment needed to finish greenhouse renovations at HU’s hydroponic production system at Steelton-Highspire Jr./Senior High School. It will also cover the costs of harvest packaging supplies throughout the remainder of the year.

The funding is part of $100,000 in donations The Giant Company has made to nine organizations to support nutritious food distribution and educational programming on Giving Tuesday, according to the release.

“While making a difference and helping families gather around the table is part of The Giant Company’s purpose year-round, the holidays bring a renewed sense of giving and connecting with those in need throughout our communities,” Jessica Groves, community impact manager of The GIANT Company, said in a release. “This Giving Tuesday donation is our largest to date and reflects the important and unique work each of these nine organizations is doing in our communities to help eliminate hunger.”

Full hydroponic production at HU’s facility will allow more than 1,100 leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, herbs, etc.) to be growing at any given time at the greenhouse, said Dr. Rachel Fogle, a Biological Sciences professor who heads the university’s hydroponics and aquaponics programs. With a production plan and a seed-to-harvest time of 40 days, approximately 375 heads will be harvested each week for donation.

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