Nottingham Trent University has donated all the produce from its vertical farm to help feed the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boxes of pak choi, spinach, swiss chard, lettuce, coriander and basil were given to Tracy’s Street Kitchen, a small team of chefs who make and distribute food to people living on the streets.
Professor Chungui Lu and colleagues at the University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences run two vertical farms – glasshouse and ‘shipping containers’ capable of producing natural crops which are more nutritious, have far bigger yields and faster harvest cycles. The protected vertical farming uses a variety of innovative and automated feeding and environmental control systems to create perfect growing conditions all year round.
Professor Chungui Lu said: “These vertical farms have been created to help the world tackle situations which threaten global food security, so it is only fitting that we use our crops to help society in a time of crisis. In this instance we were very happy to give the food to a local group working hard to support homeless people in Nottinghamshire.”
Founder of Tracy’s Street Kitchen, Tracy Dickinson, said: “We’re currently putting together care packages and we’ve already used some of the produce in dishes like curry and sausage and mash. Nothing will go to waste. My message is for people to stay strong and be positive, and a big thank you to everyone who is supporting us.”