YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown City School District has received a $10,000 grant for a portable farm.

The grant will allow the district to purchase two Fork Farms Flex Farms to produce lettuce.

The indoor Flex Farm system grows more than 394 pounds of produce annually. The $4,000 units take up less than 10 square feet of space and are portable. 

The grant was awarded to the food service department from the William Swanston Charitable Fund.

“The district sincerely thanks the William Swanston Charitable Fund and the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley for their generosity,” said Tascin Brooks, the food service director. ”We are so excited to implement the vertical lettuce growing hydroponic farms in three elementary schools and have our scholars be involved in the growing process every step.”

The food service department already had one Flex Farm and was serving over 300 pounds of lettuce weekly. Now, they can purchase the additional units and supplement the lettuce used in the kitchens with those harvested from the farms. Currently, the farm yields 25 pounds of lettuce every four weeks.

The food service department partnered with the city schools’ Y- STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program. Students will be able to actively participate in growing plants from seeds.