US supermarket chain donates $20,000 to Harrisburg University growing system

The Giant Company has made a large donation to a local university to complete renovations for its greenhouse. On Giving Tuesday, the Giant Company, a US supermarket chain, donated $20,000 to Harrisburg University, covering the cost of harvesting supplies and equipment needed to finish greenhouse renovations at the university's hydroponic production system at Steelton-Highspire High School.

"We just had a really generous donation from the Giant Company that paid for a full hydroponic production, which is going to allow approximately 375 heads of lettuce donated a week, as well as about 250 pounds of tomatos or cucumbers or squash throughout a year," explained Rachel Fogle, the lead coordinator of Aquaponics Initiatives.

The aquaponics system at the Steelton school can now go into full hydroponic production which will allow more than 1,100 leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, herbs, etc.) to be growing at any given time at the greenhouse. With a staggered production plan, and a seed-to-harvest time of 40 days, approximately 375 heads will be harvested each week for donation. 

Collectively, full hydroponic production at the facility will provide a considerable amount of fresh donations to the community consistently throughout the year,  Prior to the onset of these renovations to make improvements in the design and overall layout of the greenhouse, HU regularly donated harvested produce to the community including the Steelton-Highspire food distribution, the Harrisburg University student population, Hanna‚Äôs Pantry with Susquehanna Township, and through the Harrisburg Police with the Food Bank.  As part of Giant's sponsorship, HU will expand its donation footprint to include Downtown Daily Bread.

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