BUFFALO, N.Y. — Shipping containers are getting more use these days than for just shipping. They’ve been used to make new homes, and now they’re being used to produce food in Buffalo.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Monday that a new, indoor food production container will help advance urban farming and bring more awareness to hydroponic gardening, sustainability and nutrition for the East Buffalo community.
“We remain committed to addressing food insecurity in East Buffalo and ensuring that the community has access to affordable and healthy food options including fresh fruits and vegetables,” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “Indoor food production facilities, like this one announced today, make it much easier to grow healthy food options, without soil, all year round, and right in neighborhoods that need increased access the most. I applaud the New York Power Authority, EPRI, Buffalo Go Green and our local partners for making this shipping container and farming programming available to our East Buffalo community to increase access to healthy foods.”
The 40-foot shipping container has been installed at the Buffalo Go Green’s Zenner Street urban farm. The container will be used to grow vegetables and herbs year-round with no soil. The produce grown in the container will be distributed to the community.
The New York Power Authority is funding the $300,000 project. Rita Hubbard-Robinson, community leader and CEO of NeuWater & Associates helped bring the project to Buffalo. “This installment of the IFP is a game changer for our community. The ability to create a sustainable answer to meet the need for produce all year round in East Buffalo has the potential to be a long-term solution. We thank NYPA, Buffalo Center for Health Equity, Buffalo Go Green, Rite Aid Healthy Futures and EPRI for their belief in innovation and ag-tech as a viable solution to address food insecurity in our northern cold climate. This is important to improve the health of our families, our seniors and our precious children,” Hubbard-Robinson said.
Several organizations collaborated on this project including: EPRI, NeuWater & Associates, Buffalo Center for Health Equity and NYPA’s Environmental Justice Program.