US (WI): Hydroponic farm at Milwaukee fire stations will provide fresh produce to community members in need

A new partnership is sprouting between the Milwaukee Fire Department and Community Agricultural Growing Experience or CAGE. The nonprofit organization has teamed up with its neighbors at Milwaukee Fire Station #5 to bring fresh produce to those in need. Through hydroponic Flex Farms, made by Fork Farms in Green Bay, Wisconsin, firefighters and members of CAGE are growing fresh produce in an area of Milwaukee that's considered a food desert.

"I knew that we had food deserts, and I knew that the people at the bottom needed to eat better because we have a lot of chronic diseases," Andre Lee Ellis, Executive Director of CAGE, said Friday. Lee Ellis knows first-hand the impact eating fresh produce can have on your health.

"Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, I have all three. I am a four-time heart attack survivor. I know what diabetes and the attack of it can be, and the beginning of the healing is the eating that we do," he said. Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski called the partnership a no-brainer Friday as the department not only works to reduce emergency fire calls but medical calls too.

"This is a way for us to also address what is clearly worsening health conditions in our community," Chief Lipski said.


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