My name is Chander Payne, a high school student in the Washington DC area. One school day, when I forgot my lunch at home, I went to the cafeteria. I saw this.
I love my school. I am grateful to come home to healthy food every day and I have always known this wasn’t the reality for everyone in the world, but a lack of access to food for students in MY school? Unthinkable.
Through trial and error, surveying my friends on google forms (sorry for being on my phone in class Mr. K!), and interviewing random people on the street, I came up with Urban BEET. By working with organic rooftop farms to provide students with fresh vegetables through school food pantries, we will contribute to the demise of the food deserts plaguing my peers who live in DC.
This weekend, my friend/partner-in-crime Kesh and I will fly to Seattle to meet with other teams of young entrepreneurs from across the country and receive mentoring from T-mobile and Ashoka officials.
In preparation for the event, I have talked to 20 fellow organic farmers in the Washington DC area and continue to research the positive effects of farming when done without without making war on nature.
In order for Kesh and I to truly make our best effort to better the lives of our fellow students and their families, we need your help!
Please comment any of the following by clicking here:
In the short term, I’m most excited about helping my peers that live in the city get healthier produce, because it will make them feel awesome. They will be able to accomplish anything, including increased academic success.
In the long term, this project is essential to improving the lives of families in DC and its surrounding suburbs for environmental reasons. Take DC’s problem with heat islands, for example. Our concrete jungle causes the hot days to feel hotter, because radiation from the sun doesn’t have anywhere to be absorbed. By bringing more healthy soil and plants to DC that will use the radiation to grow, we can cool off our city and produce loads of delectable food.
By supporting the rapid expansion of UpTopAcres, a rooftop farm, which purposefully plants crops that absorb radiation and break up heat islands, I believe we have taken a great first step.
As young entrepreneurs, Kesh and I are always looking to go further. This is why we plan to include materials in our bags aimed at getting people of all incomes and ethnic backgrounds growing food organically in our community. Our efforts will lead to more people growing their own food in a way that will regenerate soil, contribute further to dismantling heat islands, and absorb carbon dioxide- keeping it out of the Chesapeake Bay (read more about how we will teach people to grow their food with integrity here).
If you are interested in participating, sign up to receive CSA shares from us here.
Thank you so much for all you do.