Earlier this week members from the CT Convergence Institute’s JUMP Program, graduate students, and volunteers from the Urban League of Greater Hartford safely congregated outdoors (using proper social distancing and wearing masks) to assemble a year-round community garden of 12 new aeroponic garden towers. The CT Convergence Institute is partnering with the Urban League of Greater Hartford in an effort to reduce food insecurity throughout the city of Hartford, especially in the inner city, which has been traditionally considered a “food desert” due to a lack of healthy and affordable foods. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation in Hartford worse. In an effort to alleviate this crisis, the JUMP Program has geared its mission towards experiential nutrition education in an effort to reduce food insecurity by providing healthy food grown in the community garden and making it readily available to the city of Hartford.
Currently, there are 5 functioning aeroponic gardens located at the Parkville Senior Center and Parkville Elementary School in Hartford. Dr. Helen Wu, the leader of the JUMP Program was able to incorporate the scientific gardening elements in to the 5th grade science curriculum of Parkville Elementary. Earlier this year, the students were able to enjoy the first crop of healthy vegetables that they grew on their very own.
The JUMP Program hopes to expand the mission even further in the very near future. If you are interested in learning more about how you can benefit from these aeroponic gardens, stay tuned for the next JUMP event which will focus on combating hunger and fostering healthy eating.