Community greenhouse proposed to alleviate food scarcity on southeast side

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Human Agricultural Cooperative is hoping to make fruits and vegetables easier to obtain for southeast Fort Wayne residents by building a community greenhouse.

The 30-by-40-foot greenhouse house is proposed to be built on an empty lot on S. Clinton St. just south of Williams St. The facility will be used to teach people about agriculture, the food industry, and other quality of life initiatives.

“We know that the greenhouse is going to be a community-based program where we invite young people, our community members, veterans, disabled to come out and learn how to grow food during the winter,” said Ty Simmons.

According to Simmons, a community greenhouse would be beneficial now more than ever because the southeast side is considered a food desert, an area without a lot of access to fresh and healthy foods.

“They try to cover up some of the areas with small convenience stores and stuff like that but they don’t have access to the fresh fruit and the fresh vegetables,” said Simmons. “When we grow these foods in the greenhouse, we’ll donate a huge portion of them.”

Once the greenhouse is complete, Simmons said it could help teach families how to supply their own produce for years to come, but it also would be useful education now, given the financial impact the pandemic has had on many families.

“All of us eat, and at this time during the pandemic, during food scarcity, during a time where meat prices are sky-rocketing we have to prepare not only for the future but for right now as well,” said Simmons.

The greenhouse is facing a vote by the zoning board on October 15. Simmons said they are optimistic their plan will get approved but if not they will either reassess their plan or look for a new location.

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