Students’ First Feed the Need Harvest Benefits Local Charity

Black-BG-JPG(Bradenton, FL—October 23, 2013) Braden River High School agriculture students will harvest 100 heads of lettuce and donate them to the Salvation Army at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, October 24.  The Salvation Army will be there to receive the generous donation.  The lettuce is the first harvest of Feed the Need, a joint Manatee Technical Institute and Braden River High project.  The project was made possible by a State Farm Youth Advisory Board grant awarded to MTI.

Working together, students from MTI and BRHS developed and participated in the project that will help will help sustain the environment while providing fresh vegetables to the kitchens within the homeless shelters operated by The Salvation Army of Manatee County on an on-going basis.  After many months of planning, constructing and getting the system in place, they will reap their first harvest this week.

The grant gives Manatee Tech and Braden River High students the opportunity to apply their learning to a real world project. MTI students from the Carpentry, Electricity, and Plumbing programs participated in building the greenhouse structure and systems that support the hydroponics growing process.   Braden River High Agriculture students were responsible for growing and harvesting the vegetables.  By applying what they are learning in a way that helps others, they created what is known as a service-learning project.

The students plan to grow a variety of vegetables to help “feed the need” in the community indefinitely.  The students are focused on being environmentally responsible, fiscally prudent, and socially conscious.

The first harvest has yielded over 100 heads of lettuce of all varieties.  The students have already planted other vegetables, which will be ready to harvest within the next several months.

Mary Cantrell, PhD, director of MTI said, “We are so thankful to State Farm for giving both our students the opportunity to make this service-learning project a reality.”

A small group of electricity students at MTI sparked the idea for the grant project.  Several of the students involved in the construction will be on hand for the initial harvest to celebrate the project’s successful fruition.