The Giving Farm @ Westminster High School
As a nonprofit that relies on feeding high-quality foods to those in need, we are always extremely grateful for partners who are supplying us with nutritious foods. After all, our food is often the healthiest meal that those we serve will receive all week.
One of our valued partners is The Giving Farm at Westminster High School in Westminster. The farm is run by Solutions for Urban Agriculture and it serves as a farm-to-food bank program that works to promote student and community engagement in the California agricultural industry.
We are fortunate to know their master farmer Eddie Ito, a third-generation Orange
County farmer who generously donates the freshest produce to help us feed those in need.
What is the Giving Farm?
It’s an eight-acre farm right on the campus of Westminster High School. It’s made up of 3 ½ acres of produce that includes hydroponics grown on raised beds and aquaponics, a type of fish farming that uses the waste produced by fish to supply nutrients to hydroponic plants, or plants are grown without the use of soil. There’s also a greenhouse, shade house, orchard, vertical tower irrigation system, and nature
center. It’s a wonderful education project for the students in the Future Farmers of America program (FFA) and for all of the students at Westminster High.
Right now, The Giving Farm is growing cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, celery, avocados, and soon they will be growing squash, butternut, spaghetti, acorn, and watermelons.
With the help of volunteers and students who come out to harvest the produce, the Giving Farm is able to donate 300,000 lbs. of produce per year to those in need. Most of the food goes to the OC Food Bank. We are also fortunate to receive their freshest produce.
Principal Amy Sabol said of the collaboration between Westminster High School and Solutions for Urban Agriculture “One of my favorite pieces about this project is that it connects our school to the community. Every single one of our students has been given the opportunity to come on the farm and really appreciate giving back.”
The Giving Farm is ideal for students and volunteers to learn about urban agriculture and the connection to local food networks and also provides nutrition education about the importance of healthy eating and active lifestyles for at-risk youth.
“The Solutions for Urban Agriculture is here to help us plant, help us tend and get resources so that we can watch the produce grow,” said Amy Sabol Principal. “Everyone is reaping the benefits of the program like this on our campus.”
The cows, pigs, and goats also serve as projects for the Agriculture and Science
program on campus. They are also bringing in a new program called “companion animals.” So that the students can work with the animals, care for them, for a valuable hands-on project.
We’re very grateful for this unique farm-to-food bank collaborative community program that’s serving the community in an innovative way.