(WNY News Now) – Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a groundbreaking indoor food production container project, “Feeding the Roots. Blossoming a community,” aimed at promoting urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition for underserved residents in East Buffalo. Supported by the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the initiative seeks to address food insecurity while contributing to the state’s clean energy goals.
Buffalo – Governor Kathy Hochul revealed a new initiative today that signifies a significant step forward in addressing food insecurity and promoting sustainable practices in East Buffalo. The indoor food production container, supported by the New York Power Authority, is set to revolutionize urban farming by cultivating vegetables and herbs year-round without soil.
The $300,000 facility, named “Feeding the Roots. Blossoming a community,” is a 40-foot shipping container installed at Buffalo Go Green’s Zenner Street urban farm. The project, celebrated in collaboration with EPRI, NeuWater & Associates, and Buffalo Center for Health Equity, is part of NYPA’s Environmental Justice Program and aligns with the state’s clean energy goals.
Governor Hochul expressed her commitment to providing affordable and healthy food options to East Buffalo, emphasizing the significance of indoor food production facilities in achieving this goal. The container, adorned with slogans like “The power of love can grow communities,” is a testament to the collaborative effort between NYPA, EPRI, Buffalo Go Green, and local partners.
Rita Hubbard-Robinson, CEO of NeuWater & Associates LLC and a community leader, played a pivotal role in organizing this unique partnership that combines agriculture research and technology. The Buffalo Center for Health Equity will own and operate the container farm, offering agricultural community programs that contribute to the broader understanding of the sustainability of local, indoor crop production.
This initiative holds particular importance in supporting New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which mandates significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The project’s research component, led by EPRI, contributes valuable insights to the environmental impact of indoor farming and aligns with NYPA’s Environmental Justice program targeting underserved communities.
Community engagement programs, overseen by Buffalo Go Green, will empower residents to actively participate in growing and distributing healthy produce. The project builds on NYPA’s previous success in indoor farming partnerships, such as the collaboration with FeedMore in 2020, which distributed thousands of pounds of nutritious produce.
The Buffalo facility, part of a multi-state demonstration led by EPRI, will focus on studying indoor food production’s impact on energy and water usage. Kale was chosen as the initial crop due to its high nutrient value and short harvest cycle, emphasizing the project’s commitment to sustainability and nutritional success.