US: Georgia boy grows various crops with donated growing devices

Past the living room chess set on the way to the front door of a Gwinnett County home lives a farm and the 12-year-old who tends it.
Thanks to the 12 vertical farm stands donated by Lettuce Grow, Malon James has become Georgia’s youngest certified hydroponic farmer.

“I grow a lot of produce here, like tomatoes, strawberries, definitely blue kale,” James explained as he showed 11Alive the vertical farm stands sitting in the foyer of his house. Since the COVID pandemic, the Atlanta Community Food Bank has reported a 300% surge in requests for food assistance, so the 12-year-old made it his mission to be part of the solution.

“I think hydroponics is the best way to combat food insecurity,” he said. “One hydroponic can feed more than 100 people. Just one. Just imagine if you had 12. This food is healthy for you.” Most of what James grows, he gives away. He makes regular trips to his local food bank, the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry, a place that prides itself on providing quality, healthy food.

“We know that some folks that don’t have enough money tend to buy calories, but the fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, milk, those things are more expensive at the grocery store. That’s where the quality is, and that is what people want to give their kids,” said Laura Drake, director of the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry.

Before the pandemic, one in seven children in the metro was identified as food insecure. According to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, those rates have increased by about 20%.

Read the entire article at Alive

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