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