A recent visit from the Greater Bergen Community Action (GBCA) on a cold winter day warmed our hearts.

Despite the freezing temperatures, Greens Do Good provided more than 150 heads of butterhead lettuce to support GBCA’s mission to improve the lives of low-income families.

The Greater Bergen team arrived ready to fill their truck and quickly got to work loading heads of lettuce — an impressive example of people coming together to create more sustainable families and healthier youth, starting with GBCA’s Head Start/Early Head Start program, which prepares students for kindergarten by offering extensive resources to support the entire family. Thanks to this coordinated effort, students in the Paterson, Jersey City, Hackensack, Bergenfield, and Cliffside Park programs enjoyed a tasty, nutritious lunch featuring our fresh butterhead lettuce, while learning about the benefits of eating healthy. With a focus on the whole family, each child also went home with the recipe for the dish and nutrition facts.

“We were honored to provide this enriching and nourishing experience thanks to our hydroponic, vertical farm in Hackensack, New Jersey,” said Lisa Goldstein, Vice President of Development.

When you walk into Greens Do Good, you’ll be struck by the beauty of stacked trays of basil, microgreens, and lettuce, unexpected in an old warehouse space. And you’ll be struck again by the beauty of seeing teens and adults with autism hard at work — planting, seeding, packaging, and harvesting. “We provide job training and employment to these individuals, teaching them environmentally sustainable practices along with essential skills,” Goldstein added.

This fulfilling visit was our latest endeavor in growing community partnerships, which helps us fill the local area with healthy produce. We’ve also been busy assisting Feed the Frontlines New Jersey distribute free meals for hospital workers, providing fresh produce to food pantries through Bergen County’s Food Security Taskforce, and donating surplus produce to Eva’s Village, which provides support to people in need.

“I cannot think of more meaningful work than teens and adults with autism growing produce to help nourish and educate underserved communities,” said Chantelle Walker, CEO of REED Autism Services.

Interested in becoming a Greens Do Good community partner? Contact Lisa Goldstein at [email protected]. Greens Do Good is part of the REED Autism Services family of programs, all 501c3 organizations.

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