A Save the Children staff member holds a crate of supplies on the steps of  school bus.

Sharon, a Save the Children staff member in Kentucky, helps distribute nutritious meals to children in her community during the COVID-19 pandemic. This month, in partnership with AgTech leader AppHarvest, Save the Children is working to help educate children across eastern Kentucky on how to grow their own nutritious food and the importance of healthy eating. Photo Credit: Save the Children

AppHarvest and Save the Children Team Up to Provide East Kentucky Kids Hands-On Education in Growing Food, Eating Healthy

1,600 Children in Six Counties to Receive Hydroponic Grow Kits as Part of Grow Green Eat Green Project

BEREA, Ky. (November 24, 2020) – Save the Children today announced a new partnership with AgTech leader AppHarvest to help educate children across eastern Kentucky on how to grow their own nutritious food and the importance of healthy eating. Through the Grow Green Eat Green project, AppHarvest is working with Save the Children to create and provide indoor hydroponic grow kits to more than 1,600 children and their families in six eastern Kentucky counties.

Participating children – who live in some of the state’s most impoverished counties, including Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Leslie, Owsley and Perry – are receiving everything they need to help start their own indoor gardens, such as seeds, growing nutrients and supplies, pots and instructions to help them get growing. They can also get live instruction via video conference on how to grow their own food from AppHarvest’s farming experts, as well as learn the benefits of hydroponic farming.

“During a time when COVID-19 is having significant, detrimental impacts on children across eastern Kentucky – including the alarming increase of child hunger across our region – Save the Children is proud to partner with AppHarvest to educate children and families about ways to help end this vicious cycle of food insecurity in the future,” said Alissa Taylor, Save the Children’s Kentucky State Director. 

“AppHarvest was founded as a benefit corporation and is also a certified B Corp, because we believe companies should be in the business of doing good,” said Amy Samples, Director of Community Outreach and People Programs. “We’re building America’s AgTech capital from within Appalachia and know that education is core to achieving that.”

Virtual instruction for the children will take place with their teachers in the coming days.

Committed to combatting child hunger across Kentucky and rural America, Save the Children has helped prepare and deliver more than 9 million meals as part of its coronavirus response efforts since March. In rural Kentucky alone, Save the Children staff have helped distribute more than 2.5 million nutritious meals to children in some of the state’s most impoverished communities since COVID-19 impacted the region this spring.

Prior to starting operations at its 2.76-million-square-foot indoor farm in Morehead, KY, AppHarvest invested more than $150,000 in starting a high-tech container farm educational program. The program retrofits shipping containers with high-tech farming equipment to allow students to grow healthy leafy greens. The program started at Shelby Valley High School in Pike County in 2018 and has since expanded to Rowan County with additional units planned. 

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