School greenhouse aids food-distribution efforts to the needy

Basil greenhouse product Photo credit Getty Images

A high school greenhouse that opened three years ago was meant to give northwest suburban students at taste of the farming life.

Lately, the facility at Rolling Meadows High School has been repurposed for the pandemic.

Shortly after in-person learning was suspended last March, school officials and teachers in the Agricultural Sciences program used the greenhouse to grow fresh vegetables that would be donated to families in need.

It’s now a food distribution point for needy families, with food boxes distributed every Wednesday. The boxes contain enough food for seven days worth of meals, along with fresh lettuce and basil grown in the garden.

Rolling Meadows High School Principal Eileen Hart on Friday said students are expressing interest in volunteering as they return to the classroom.

"We have kids that love to donate their time, that really appreciate doing community outreach and community service,” Hart said. “So, what we'd like to do is continue this through the summer so kids can come in for some hours that are part of our ag program and continue the service.”

Officials picked lettuce and basil as products because they take a short time to grow.