Wellspring Harvest donates hydroponic lettuce during crisis

You may have seen news stories about farmers unable to sell their produce due to disruptions in supply chains during the coronavirus pandemic. Photos of crops being tilled over and milk going to waste are concerning, especially when so many people are facing food insecurity for the first time during the pandemic.

Shirley Del Rio shows off the donated lettuce

Wellspring Harvest in Springfield not only grows local, hydroponic greens year-round in a sustainable way, but they also provide produce to local schools and educate people about urban agriculture. They also provide living-wage jobs to people who have been left out of the job market and economically disenfranchised.

One of the seven principles of cooperatives is “concern for community,” says Co-Director, Emily Kawano.

“In this spirit, Wellspring Cooperative and our hydroponic greenhouse, Wellspring Harvest are thrilled to participate in this partnership with the Food Bank to provide fresh, healthy, locally grown greens to those in need during this crisis,” she continues.

Kuwano says people have donated over $6,200 to date which has enabled their greenhouse co-op to not only donate lettuce to the Food Bank, but also keep their workers employed.

“We’re so grateful to Wellspring for their generosity,” says Shirley Del Rio, Director of Food Operations at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. “Providing healthy food to households that are food insecure in the region is critical. We can’t thank them enough for their support of neighbors in need!”

Learn more about Wellspring’s work and their mission to help lift people out of poverty here.