Rooftop Roots: Fresh vegetables and gardening education

Our latest project, Rooftop Roots, represents a new source of fresh produce for our food bank customers, and an opportunity to empower low-income youth through hands-on gardening education.

Growing Food

Our new rooftop garden will grow nutritious fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey for thousands who seek food security and resources to build self-sufficiency.

Tended by experienced staff and volunteer gardeners, over 2,000 plants will rotate seasonally and produce over 10,000 pounds of produce annually. 


Photo: Paula Skarr Photography

Building Community

Beginning in August 2016, we will open our roof to low-income youth from Jane Addams and Eckstein Middle Schools – 2 of the 10 schools that partner with us in Packs for Kids.

In our first pilot year, 50 young people will learn basic gardening skills, how to care for a variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs, and how to prepare simple and healthy meals – including culturally diverse recipes – with their freshly grown ingredients. They will harvest produce and bring it home to cook with their families.

How You Can Help

We need $25,000 by mid-July to successfully launch our first rooftop growing season this summer. This includes the core items that make up our garden:

  • Thousands of pounds of special low-density soil developed for rooftop gardens
  • 4,000 milk crates – 2 crates support each plant
  • Landscaping fabric to line the milk crates and contain the soil
  • Gardening tools and equipment

Help us reach our goal of $25K by donating to and sharing our Generosity campaign.

Photo May 19, 11 54 16 AM

Milk crates will serve as planters for our rooftop garden


Help us grow roots in our new home!

campaignimageWe’re excited to ask our community to help catalyze Rooftop Roots – our new rooftop garden and community engagement work.

As part of our Fight Hunger Build Hope campaign for a new food bank building, we’re opening a garden on the roof of the new food bank that will ultimately generate 10,000 pounds of produce every year for food bank families.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • 2,000 square feet of raised garden beds
  • apiary with three beehives to serve as pollinators and provide locally harvested honey for food bank customers
  • hands-on gardening and nutrition education with low-income students from our Packs For Kids partner schools

This garden is an investment in sustainability for the University District Food Bank, for our clients, and for our community. With your help, our new rooftop garden will be a new source of fresh produce for our food bank, and the foundation for new community partnerships in gardening education and outreach.

Help us reach our goal of $25K by donating to and sharing our Generosity campaign.