Establishing a relationship between planet and plate.
2020 was a year that brought to light the serious shortcomings of the food supply chain in our country and around the world. Everything from staple ingredients to packaging saw fulfillment challenges, leaving a lot of businesses and consumers scratching their heads. In this climate, we find it more important than ever to do our part in addressing these ongoing food issues together. This summer, we will be rolling out our rapid-response model to support healthier food economies. It’s all about the little wins looking ahead.
Food Insecurity as a Global and Local Issue
Now, perhaps more than ever, is the time for localized solutions to emerge for reliable, fresh food. Hundred Acre, Planet to Plate’s first Food Tech Incubator, located in Milwaukee’s 30th Street Corridor, is just that type of solution.
Here’s more on the national and the local fronts:
The Impact of COVID-19 on Local Food Insecurity in 2020 & 2021 – As COVID-19 spread across the US, rates of food insecurity – the lack of access to sufficient food because of limited financial resources – increased dramatically and continues to increase in 2021.
Fresh Food Access is a Focus for Milwaukee Neighborhoods – The Fresh Food Access Fund provides support for increasing access to fresh food choices in city neighborhoods that do not have grocery stores or other outlets selling fresh and nutritious foods.
Working With the Community Toward Sustainability
How does leveraging the power of fresh food, new technology and light manufacturing revitalize and usher in a renaissance that creates new jobs?
This is the question that we’re exploring every day. With Hundred Acre, we’re creating an entire ecosystem aimed at improving access to fresh, healthy food, by bringing together local for-profit food businesses, non-profits, higher-education institutions and the surrounding neighborhood.
Residing between two marginalized neighborhoods, the Century City building is a prime location to bring these partnerships to life. Food and technology have the power to revitalize this area into a healthy, light manufacturing employment hub. This is where Hundred Acre can make the biggest impact. Here’s how we’re doing it:
A Rewarding New Educational Connection – Industrial Engineering students at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) spent the Spring 2020 semester analyzing the operating procedures for Hundred Acre, and served as an independent audit to test and confirm the viability of our farming model. This was the first of many educational partnerships Planet to Plate has been cultivating, giving students an opportunity for real-world, hands-on experience in urban agricultural design, green building design, and community engagement. “Planet to Plate is bringing the Milwaukee community together to pioneer the future of agriculture. I’m fortunate to have had a part in helping the team lay the groundwork in such a wholesome endeavor.” – Adam Nasinski, MSOE student
The Role of Education in Designing Sustainable Systems – "As global populations continue to grow, we must figure out new ways to feed such people. At the same time, the damages wrought by climate change have severely impacted traditional agricultural models. We must develop sustainable agricultural systems that take into account these developments. Institutions of higher learning have a vital role to play here, as they are able to pull together a myriad of partners to create innovative agricultural solutions." – Dr. Michael Carriere, MSOE, Associate Professor and community advocate. By listening to Milwaukee-based educators like Carriere, Planet to Plate has been able to design educational programming that allows it to help fill this vital role in the developing urban ag community.
It Takes a Village – Grow2Learn is a new program that brings together local government, educators and businesses, creating a platform for high school and young adults interested in pursuing a STEM education. Partnering withBuilding2Learn, MSOE, Milwaukee Public Schools and the 30th Street Corridor, we're excited to have Hundred Acre as an educational site for Milwaukee-area students to get involved with the agricultural systems of tomorrow.
More News from the Founder's Desk
A Partner with an Eye on Sustainability – As a pillar of the Milwaukee community, Quorum Architects has provided invaluable support throughout our pivot to deliver a rapid response to supply chain issues and food insecurity. We’re grateful for this partnership and look forward to continued work together. Chris Hau of Quorum described our alliance beautifully when he wrote the following: “Revitalizing a building, providing for the community, and practicing sustainable design are qualities our firm strives to integrate into every project. These values are very similar to the philosophy of Hundred Acre.
On a personal note, I grew up working on dairy farms, and growing and harvesting crops. Working on this project has brought back fond memories of how exciting it is to plant seeds, watch them grow into food, and harvest the crops. At this critical time of food insecurity, the valorization of local, human-sized farms is especially important. Hundred Acre brings an educational component to an urban environment, educating a whole new generation who may not have access to a typical farm much less new agricultural technologies, allowing this generation to learn how to grow and harvest food.”
Interested in learning and seeing more? Sign up to participate in the upcoming walk-through.
Hundred Acre powered by Planet to Plate, 3945 North 31st Street, Milwaukee, WI 53216