Macy’s volunteers joined a Green Bronx Machine garden project and students from Community School 55 (C.S. 55) to harvest produce and grow the community. The food helped feed cancer patients in need at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the Bronx, NY.
Green Bronx Machine builds healthy, equitable and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems and 21st-century workforce development, which align with Macy's value in giving back to our local communities.
Green Bronx Machine is a nonprofit founded by Stephen Ritz, a teacher at C.S. 55, located in the South Bronx. The school’s population includes a high percentage of single-parent homes, children living in poverty and students that are food insecure, meaning they don’t know from where they will get their next meal.
The nonprofit makes an impact for the students, integrating growing produce and cooking healthy food into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. Students grow fruits and vegetables in a nearby community garden, giving them a unique, hands-on experience that produces healthy food and, what the nonprofit hopes to be, healthier children.
Our colleagues first volunteered with Green Bronx Machine in December 2016 in a Winter Wonderland Project. It was such a success that this summer, 20 volunteers from Macy’s New York City Go Green employee resource group (ERG) and Macy’s Partners in Time employee volunteer program once again joined the students to help the community.
Elementary-school students from C.S. 55 and our volunteers harvested about 5,000 fruits and vegetables and donated the haul to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “[This project is] bringing people from around the city to grow something greater. And it’s proof that if children grow it, they eat it, they can share it and make a difference, right here, locally,” said Stephen Ritz in a local news interview.
Congratulations to the Green Bronx Machine and our volunteers for partnering with students to grow their knowledge about eating healthy and giving back to their community.