Growing Power celebrates farm-to-school food deal

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Growing Power, a local, non-profit farming organization is breaking national records! Growing Power reached out locally and regionally to create the single largest farm-to-school fresh food procurement ever in the United States! Although in this case, carrots made history, the impact goes much further.

Will Allen is the founding farmer and CEO of Growing Power.

The organization was created in 1993, and since then, Allen and others have worked to transform communities by supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environments in which they live through the development of Community Food Systems.

According to Growing Power's website, the systems provide high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for all residents in the community.

On Growing Power's website, Allen says: "If people can grow safe, healthy, affordable food, if they have access to land and clean water, this is transformative on every level in a community. I believe we cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system."

"It's really about growing farmers. We really don't have enough farmers around the world to grow the food we need," Allen told FOX6 News.

Allen says everyone needs and deserves healthy, sustainable food.

"Good food should be our medicine. More people die from bad food than any other things. We also always talk about diabetes and heart disease and all those diseases -- they come from eating bad food," Allen said.

Growing Power was able to supply 40,000 pounds of fresh food to countless local and regional children.

Locally-grown carrots were sold, with 10,000 pounds purchased by Wisconsin school districts.

"This past year we grew about 500,000 pounds of carrots on our Jackson farm and we just recently sold about 30,000 pounds to the Chicago Public Schools for one day. The consumption happened in one day. It was the largest procurement ever in the U.S. to the school system, so we are kind of proud of that," Allen said.

Allen's goal is to not only provide wholesome food, but also to inspire others.

"(It was) actually the first time they actually had fresh carrots. Most of the time they are cooked, so they get the full nutritional impact," Allen said.

Allen says this is just the beginning for Growing Power's farm-to-school fresh food procurement initiative.

This spring, Growing Power plans to plant 15-20 acres of carrots to be able to get them out to more school districts.

The organization is also growing thousands of pounds of salad mix that will be going into the school systems as well.