The Neighborhood Harvest (TNH), a Suffolk-based food delivery service and hydroponic farm, hosted a group of students from Norfolk Academy last week, teaching them about the process and benefits of hydroponics as well as how the organization is addressing food insecurity.
The foundation of TNH’s strategy is partnering with local agencies like Greater Works and Access College Foundation. Greater Works operates a food pantry called The House of Bread, which is located adjacent to the TNH offices. The leadership began working together through a simple need: storage and freezer space.
By helping Greater Works, TNH learned about the nutrition gap in the business’s neighborhood, like the lack of affordable grocery stores nearby, transportation to reach those stores, and the needs that agencies like the food bank cannot always fill. TNH began providing The House of Bread with its extra produce each week, some coming from Virginia farm partners and some straight from its hydroponic greenhouse.
The workshop day began at the greenhouse, where students helped plant rows of new crops and learned how the hydroponic process works, continually moving water across the root systems of plants. The students “absolutely loved planting,” said THN’s Heather Thompson, who helped plan and direct the event.
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