Gateway Greening , a St. Louis–area nonprofit organization, recently received $50,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Project for being one of four finalists in the "What Do You Care About Today?" contest.
NBC’s Today Show featured Gateway Greening’s City Seeds Urban Farm, which produces affordable, locally grown food on underused land provided by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Its farmers, who receive comprehensive services from the St. Patrick Center , are homeless or near homeless, are dually diagnosed with chronic addictions and mental illness, or are recently released prisoners.
The farm combines therapeutic horticulture with hands-on training in a variety of green-industry skills, including irrigation, small landscape construction projects and greenhouse seedling production. The farmers sell their crops at local farmers markets; the organization also donates food to emergency providers.
In addition to the urban farm, Gateway Greening supports 200 community and youth gardens across the St. Louis area.
Nearly 700 organizations were nominated for the contest. The grand-prize winner was the Bay Area Food Bank of Theodore, Ala.
“Even though we weren’t the grand-prize winner, we were shocked by the generous $50,000 grant from Pepsi Refresh,” said Gwenne Hayes-Stewart, executive director at Gateway Greening. “It was an amazing surprise that will help us continue to provide the people of St. Louis with fresh food and more jobs.”
For more information on Gateway Greening, visit www.gatewaygreening.org .