Stumbled across an article about the Five Loaves and Two Fished Food Bank in West Virginia and their efforts to provide fresh lettuce for their customers.
Such a model is exactly what we need to start seeing more of in our food system. Highly space, resource, and time efficient growing methods that allow local providers to ween themselves off of Big Ag, at least to an extent.
Vertical hydroponics make sense for a non-profit foodbank for a few reasons. First, they likely do not have the required land to grow an equivalent amount of food the traditional way. Second, hydroponics allows them to grow lettuce much faster, so they can provide more with the same footprint. Third, if they have indoor space, they can continue providing fresh lettuce during the winter.
Finally, it's a sexy thing to apply for a grant for (which is what this food bank did). It's classic give a fish, teach to fish ask.