US (CT): Indoor farming helps food banks get fresh produce to those in need

It may look like something out of science fiction, but the brightly-lit units are down to earth. "It's experimental, it's new, it's futuristic," said Rev. Sara Smith, executive director of Nourish Bridgeport. "It is the future of farming." It is a hydroponic farm that grows vegetables for Nourish Bridgeport, a nonprofit that provides food to direct those in need and to area food pantries.

It is one of the first in the country and the first in Connecticut to operate its indoor farm.

"We are very proud. We don't want to be the only, though," Rev. Smith said. "I grew up on a 1,000-acre soil farm in Kentucky, and my generation of siblings is the first generation in 17 that are not farmers - and it always sort of pained me that my daddy was the last one." Not anymore, though. She is overseeing a farming process that keeps going, no matter what the weather is like outside.

Lezli Albelo is one of six who work on the indoor farm full-time. "I've had a lot of learning, reaching out to other farmers," Albelo said. "Our nutrients are clean. The water is clean, our process is clean, and the staff wears gloves. So, it's making sure every process is clean throughout the whole time - and they're getting the most nutritious produce that's coming from us to the people that need it the most."

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