Operation Meals Search, a nonprofit starvation reduction group, has acquired two Flex Farms, that are absolutely self-contained hydroponic rising programs that can allow OFS to develop contemporary, reasonably priced produce. The vertical indoor farms price $5,000 every and had been donated to the nonprofit by UnitedHealthcare Group Plan of Missouri and Fork Farms, an agriculture expertise social enterprise based mostly in Inexperienced Bay, Wisconsin. OFS is the primary St. Louis group to obtain Flex Farms, that are at the moment positioned in 26 states and Canada.
Flex Farms create 25 kilos of produce monthly based mostly on a 21- to 28-day harvest cycle. The harvest — starting from nutritious leafy greens to herbs — requires a minimal of solely two hours of care monthly. The energy-efficient Flex Farms function with a typical electrical outlet, occupy lower than 10 sq. ft of area and use zero pesticides and herbicides. Every farm can serve as much as 1,900 households per 12 months with a harvest of almost 3,400 vegetation.
“Accessing contemporary meals is important to a wholesome life-style and combating power illness. That’s the reason we invented the Flex Farm, to interrupt down the boundaries to wholesome meals and empower folks, organizations and communities to unleash the ability of contemporary meals manufacturing,” mentioned Fork Farms president Alex Tyink in a information launch. “As a part of our mission, we search to develop strategic partnerships with organizations that share our values and work to create happier and more healthy communities. We’re thrilled for the chance to name Operation Meals Search and United Healthcare Group Plan of Missouri companions in change.”
“We all know that non-medical components, together with entry to nutritious reasonably priced meals, protected housing, and transportation have an unlimited impression on an individual’s well being,” mentioned Jamie Bruce, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Group Plan of Missouri, within the launch. “We’re proud to help an innovation like Flex Farms, that makes it simpler for our communities to entry wholesome meals and reside more healthy lives.”
“These donated Flex Farms are extraordinarily handy, cost-saving options that permit us to develop contemporary produce for individuals who want it most,” mentioned Operation Meals Search Government Director Kristen Wild. “We recognize the generosity and help of UnitedHealthcare Group Plan of Missouri, in addition to Fork Farms, for his or her dedication to answering our area’s long-term demand for nutritious meals.” Wild added that “we’re each honored and excited to be the primary in St. Louis to expertise the advantages of Fork Farms’ distinctive programs.”
Based in 1981, Operation Meals Search is a starvation reduction group positioned at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. in St. Louis that gives free meals, diet schooling and modern applications confirmed to cut back meals insecurity. This previous 12 months, Operation Meals Search has been one of many organizations that was given federal coronavirus reduction funds from St. Louis County to fight larger meals insecurity in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a strategic focus geared toward ending childhood starvation, OFS empowers households and will increase entry to wholesome and reasonably priced meals. The company offers meals and companies to almost 200,000 people on a month-to-month foundation – one-third of whom are youngsters – by a community of 330 group companions in 30 Missouri and Illinois counties. For extra info, name 314-726-5355 or go to Operation Food Search.