Hydroponic Labs Running as Urban Farms to Feed Communities

Even with this year of school closures and uncertainty, more than half of NY Sun Works labs in NYC schools are currently operating to grow much-needed food for communities. With many students unable to visit the Greenhouse Classrooms due to social distancing requirements, the labs are being run as urban farms growing fresh vegetables to feed school communities. Students’ families and staff members are taking nutritious greens home, and some schools are providing food to community organizations serving neighbors in need.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer generously awarded 6 schools Manhattan Community Award Program grants specifically for urban farming to address food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic. One of these schools, PS 48 in Washington Heights, is sending their lab’s frequent vegetable harvests home with students and their families as part of biweekly produce distribution from City Harvest and Brighter Bites. They are planning to do a virtual cooking event in the spring that will utilize some of the produce produced in the lab. At PS 333 Manhattan School For Children, the Greenhouse has been providing vegetables to 2 neighboring community organizations. And in Brooklyn, IS 239 Mark Twain has had such abundant harvests that they delivered a large crop of lettuce, kale, cucumbers and basil to a local food pantry.

NY Sun Works is honored to be able to work with our partner schools to provide much-needed fresh vegetables during this time of food insecurity for so many in New York City.