Food Security for Puerto Rico

$3,136 of $20,694 goal

Raised by 52 people in 9 months

Puerto Rican families need sovereignty over their own food supply. Before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was 80% reliant on imports to supply the island's food. Now they are 100% reliant on imported food.

People need access to fresh water and food to live. There is no time to waste in launching the agricultural revitalization that Puerto Rico so desperately needs. The local government is financially over-extended and has limited support from FEMA. Lives depend on us.

Our goal is to place two hydroponic vertical tower farms in two communities in Puerto Rico by May 2018. Hopefully sooner, with your support.

100% of the donations we receive will go directly toward building hydroponic vertical farms in Puerto Rico. Reaching our goal will save lives and provide food security. You can help place two vertical hydroponic farms in two of the most underserved communities on the island: La Perla and Loiza.

( Picture of a Tower Farm.)

La Perla is a historic community living outside the walls of Old San Juan. People are still in homes that are partially blown away and torn down from Maria.  (pictured here)

This is one of many pictures I took early this February 2018. The neighborhood is less than a square mile and had two gardens feeding the community. One of those gardens was completely destroyed during the hurricane and the other is barely recovering now. It only has seedlings for trees and plants like coconuts, bananas, sugar cane and yucca. However those plants won't bare food for months or years depending on the crop.
No one can wait that long to eat and many can't afford to buy food in stores. Not to mention, what happens next year when another Hurricane comes through? Everything can be gone again.

Community leaders have expressed interest in having hydroponic gardens in order to grow fresh and healthy food fast. People were left without food or incoming supplies for weeks, and in some cases, months. Hydroponic farms are the perfect solution for an island ravaged by hurricanes year after year.

Hydroponic vertical farms can be brought indoors during the hurricane months where they’ll continue to grow food with grow lights; or be temporarily broken down and stored for protection. The entire farm can easily be taken down or set up in as little as a few hours and immediately start growing food again.

Let us not let what hapened, with food shortages, happen again. Puerto Rico needs our support.

Please donate today.

25825170_15192745060_r.jpegPicture of indoor farm

 Why Donate a Farm?  Make a lasting difference. 

Your donation for vertical hydroponic Tower Farms will: 

Empower La Perla and Loiza community members to grow their own food for a lifetime. 

1. You will save lives now.

2. You will prevent hunger and starvation both now and after future hurricanes.

3. You will set a sustainable example for what’s possible for the agricultural revitalization of all of Puerto Rico, as well as other islands affected by hurricanes year after year.

4. You will empower a new local food system which will profoundly impact future generations by providing a sustainable future of food security and food justice for Puerto Rico and beyond.

5. The best reason to give is the amazing feeling you receive by making a difference….because you give a farm! : )

What Am I Actually Donating?

You are donating two vertical hydroponic farms, gravity tanks for rain capture, seeds and all supplies needed to grow, harvest and operate a hydroponic vertical farm. You are gifting one farm to La Perla and one farm to Loiza — two farms in total.Each farm will consist of 16 vertical hydroponic towers using Tower Farm aeroponic technology. Each of the 16 towers can grow 28 plants for a total of 420 plants for each community.  Each farm location only needs 200 square feet.  

What Does It Cost?

Our goal of $20,693.88 is the exact total for two hydroponic vertical tower farms with everything needed to grow from seed to harvest. (Not including shipping costs)

In the spirit of transparency, this picture is an itemized break down of the individual costs to build two hydroponic vertical tower farms as described above. Items include, but are not limited to: the hydroponic equipment, farming and harvesting supplies, seeds/seeding supplies and propagation benches. Our company, Green Food Solutions, is fully donating the farm installation and community training sessions. Volunteers in the community will help build their farm and future growers of each community will receive our professional training in how to grow food and operate a hydroponic farm.

Why Hydroponics?

Hydroponics grows food 3x faster and saves 90% on resources like water and land as compared to traditional agriculture methods that use soil. There is little arable land available in Puerto Rico and people need food now. 

Who is Green Food Solutions?

Green Food Solutions was co-founded by Electra Jarvis and Mary Wetherill. We are a vertical farming company. We sell, install, and maintain hydroponic vertical farms and provide educational presentations and workshops as part of our commitment to health, the environment and food justice. We are based in NYC and grow food out of a 10,000 square foot greenhouse in the Bronx. We started the project “Because We Give A Farm” with the intention of raising funds to donate vertical Tower Farms to schools and communities in need. We empower new local food systems in urban areas for our health and a sustainable future for our planet.

100% of your donations go directly to hydroponic vertical Tower Farms in Puerto Rico.

Why you can believe we will get the job done right:

On Sept 28th 2017, we received an email inquiring about hydroponic farms in Puerto Rico as part of the agricultural revitalization for the island. We immediately wanted to help. It was heartbreaking seeing our
friends and family urgently trying to get supplies to loved ones on the island. We both felt a deep connection to the devastation that was happening in PR and were inspired to make a difference any way we could.

At the time Puerto Rico, and specifically La Perla and Loiza, did not have running water or electricity. Hydroponics systems were not possible yet.
There was no distribution at the time and items being shipped to individuals and families in Puerto Rico were not being received. You may remember or may have family who was there. Everyone on the island was in survival mode. No water. No food. No medical supplies.

Even though the time wasn't right to bring hydroponic farming to Puerto Rico, we committed ourselves to never give up. The power of intention goes a long way. 

Early in February 2018, on a trip to San Juan, Electra and I voiced our relentless stand for food security for Puerto Rico. It was heard! We met and were welcomed into La Perla by a group of strong Puerto Rican women who got permission from the community president, which is not easy to do. I have never been more inspired by three women in my entire life. They were so strong and powerful and full of love despite everything they have been through, have witnessed, and are still going through. They are the owners and staff of a local company called Get Shopped. Moira, Zayda and Michele have committed themselves to giving back and rebuilding La Perla and Loiza. Together we will establish successful hydroponic farms in both communities and empower individuals to grow their own food. It was a miracle that we met these extraordinary women. I truly believe in the power of intention.

Our partnership with these women helps secure locations for each of the farms you are donating. It has inspired community involvement and hope. We have all the volunteers needed from the community! Now they need your donation. Help us raise funds for these much needed farms.  Your donation makes a huge difference and is appreciated beyond measure.

Together we can build a local food system in Puerto Rico that will feed people today and for a lifetime.

Donate now.
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Hello Food System Reformers, Movers, and Shakers!

We have so much to update you on! I will make it as quick as possible.

First: Thanks you for all your support and donations you have contributed either by donating here, attending our Sip and Paint Fundraiser, and/or buying raffle tickets. We raised enough money to purchase 6 Towers, seeds, and supplies for the community of La Perla in Old San Juan.

Second: Royal Caribbean - yes the cruise ship company ;-) - got wind of what we were up to, and were inspired by the story and pledged to contribute as well. Thanks to their attention and contribution to this community effort, Royal Caribbean generously donated a GREENHOUSE SHELTER AND SOLAR PANELS for the Tower Farm! The farm will be OFF GRID and PROTECTED from the elements. This is huge because Puerto Rico is still experiencing intermittent power outages and much of the island is still without power.

Third: On September 29th, Green Food Solutions ran a workshop training for the community, and will continue to support them in operating the their brand new Tower Farm. (Pictures attached)

Fourth: The Community of La Perla is SETTING A PRECEDENT for whats possible for Food Security on the island. Having off-grid vertical hydroponic farms and gardens on an island where space is limited is going to make a huge difference for the sustainability of the island, and the health of its people. Most importantly, it is a way to supply food to the island before and after major storm events.

Fifth: On Oct 3rd, Green Food Solutions partnered with Get Shopped and Royal Caribbean Volunteers to build the Tower Farm, seed, and transplant it for the community. We hosted 50 volunteers, however there were many more volunteers involved along the way! We are grateful for the ladies of Get Shopped and if you are to ever take a cruise line to Puerto Rico, you must absolutely take part in one of their many tours.

Lastly: We are not done yet. We set our goal to raise enough money for 32 Towers in 2 communities. That's still 26 Towers left! Please share whats possible for Food Security for Puerto Rico with your family, friends, and colleagues. We will continue to support La Perla with supplies until they become autonomous and skilled hydroponic growers! Any amount counts!
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Brief update: Today a volunteer has traveled to Puerto Rico in order to scope out the best location for the the first few Towers, as well, as the entire farm. Like us, she also traveled to the island, and after hearing from a local how supplies are low and more support is needed, she found us and offered to volunteer her time down there doing whatever what needed. More to come soon! Thank you for the on-going support!
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We hope that all of the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and powerful women in our life had an amazing mother's day!

We celebrated this mother's day with a Sip and Paint Fundraiser, to raise money for hydroponic gardens and farms for Puerto Rico.

We are thankful that the donations made by you on our Go Fund Me page, combined with ticket sales at our Sip and Paint Fundraiser, will place 6 Tower Gardens in a community in Puerto Rico. That is a total of 120 crops!!! Food Security on the Island is getting created by you. Thank you!

During the Sip and Paint event, we had 5 amazing prizes. We were led by an artist to paint a Bomba dancer, which is a traditional folk dancer unique to Puerto Rico. Electra Jarvis, who learned how to dance Bomba from her mother, created a collage that the painting was based upon. Vegan Puerto Rican food, donated by Gusto Latino in Jersey City, was feasted on while listening to the many classics and sounds of Puerto Rico.

A good time was had by all. Many wrote beautiful messages on the back of their paintings. Those paintings will be donated to families on the island. The intention is to bring beauty and color into the homes of people who lost so much. Below is a picture of everyone who attended with their paintings. We have another Sip and Paint Fundraiser for Puerto Rico in the works....... this time in NYC :-) Thank you all for the difference you're making for Food Security in PR!!!! It's extraordinary:)

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More pictures
Perros en La Perla
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$3,136 of $20,694 goal

Raised by 52 people in 9 months
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