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Growing for change -- how to help the homeless with hydroponics


Looking to give back to the community? Hydroponic gardening might just be one of your best chances to do this in an effective and affordable way.

We all struggle with how to provide charity while also taking care of our own interests economically. To that end, people have been exploring the feasibility of delivering food to homeless people instead of cash. While this works in some cases, it may not work in others. For example, just take a look at this news report covering controversy after a local citizen was unable to freely hand out different kinds of foods to others in the community.

A Freer Process

One of the best things about generating charitable food with a hydroponic garden is that donors won't face the kind of strict standards that are attached to prepared foods, meat products and other types of food products.

Unlike meats, cheeses and prepared foods, fresh produce is not really regulated in any considerable way. In other words, there's not the same scrutiny of freely giving away or bartering things like apples and oranges or tomatoes and cucumbers. That's not to say there's no regulation -- only that there aren't the same kinds of regulation, which could make it easier for a company or individual to deliver charitable donations of fresh produce than, say, day old bread or beef stew.

Providing the Right Kind of Nutrients

There's also another very compelling and relevant idea related to how we choose to pursue food charity.

Food banks are full of high calorie, low value food. Even breakfast cereals fortified with essential vitamins and minerals still have boatloads of sugar, and canned foods are notoriously hard on the body over time.

By contrast, fresh produce is the very thing that patients of all ages and all income levels are urged to consume by their doctors. If we want to choose these healthier foods for ourselves, why wouldn’t we choose to donate them for charity?

A local hydroponic garden serves this purpose in a very effective way. It creates food that is grown locally and consumed locally, for example, in a mega-city where there's a lack of arable land for community gardens. It's a real game-changing solution for urban poverty and some of the food deserts that exist in cities. And it's something worth looking into for any kind of charitable or community project.

Health Sensitivity

For those who want to use a hydroponic garden to give away food, there's one disclaimer that should apply. People oftentimes overlook some of the other needs of this community when they are attempting to deliver food or anything else. Perhaps a prime example of these issues in food charity is where donors distribute food that is too tough or hard for many people to chew. Due to obvious financial reasons, the homeless community has high rates of tooth decay, and that means that they will not get much value out of harder-to-consume foods. That means, for instance, replacing citrus fruits with things like green herbs or soft fruits that can be easily consumed, regardless of that person’s dental health.

For more about the nuts and bolts of hydroponics and how to start the project, take a look at what Dealzer offers with 1500 pieces of equipment for growers.

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