Quest Diagnostics Foundation expands collaboration with Green Bronx Machine to advance health equity

The Quest Diagnostics Foundation today announced an expanded collaboration with Green Bronx Machine (GBM), a transformational educational nonprofit helping students and teachers turn classrooms into agricultural learning experiences. The Foundation grant will help extend the reach of Green Bronx Machine's school-based model to additional communities and raise awareness for the importance of nutrition education and access in advancing health equity. 

The program expansion with Green Bronx Machine was funded by a grant from the Foundation as part of its Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) initiative, which provides resources, funding, donated testing services, and education to address health disparities in marginalized communities across the U.S. The expansion also furthers the investments Q4HE has made in communities in Baltimore and Houston. 

Recently recognized as a 2024 Most Innovative Company by Fast Company, Green Bronx Machine is inspiring a movement rooted in the belief that by increasing access to nutrition education at the school level, we can create better health outcomes and advance health equity throughout communities. The program currently serves 275,000 students and 10,000 teachers in the US and across 20 countries. 

Fifty under-resourced schools in Baltimore and Houston will be able to implement the nonprofit's indoor gardening curriculum through a grant from the Foundation. Additionally, the grant will help support a film screening tour of Green Bronx Machine's award-winning documentary, "Generation Growth," highlighting Green Bronx Machine's successful school-based model and how it helps children eat better, become more engaged in school, and provide pathways for jobs. 

The Quest Diagnostics Foundation and Green Bronx Machine first teamed up in 2022 to help the nonprofit expand the reach of its "Cultivating Health Equity" school program to 30 schools in Colorado, Ohio, and New York. 

We have seen first-hand the true impact of Green Bronx Machine's mission and are proud to extend additional support to help spread their programming to additional schools and communities. It's important to raise awareness about this unique approach to addressing health equity in under-resourced communities. Green Bronx Machine's focus on creating healthier communities aligns perfectly with our Purpose of working together to create a healthier world, one life at a time." 

Jim Davis, Chairman, CEO and President

The schools selected in Baltimore and Houston will be provided with resources to implement Green Bronx Machine's immersive, project-based learning curriculum centered around Green Bronx Machine's iconic Tower Gardens® aeroponic growing system. The curriculum aligns the art and science of growing vegetables with daily academic instruction and access to nutritious food. Plant life is used as a lens to teach multiple subjects including science, math, and language arts and inspire students' curiosity. 

"One student at a time, one classroom at a time, one school at a time, we grow vegetables, our vegetables grow students, and our students and teachers grow high-performing schools and happier, healthier communities," said Stephen Ritz, founder of Green Bronx Machine. "Together with the continued support of the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, we're creating a movement and growing something greater rooted in the shared belief that by investing in our schools and our communities, we can change the way children eat, learn, live, and access health equity and opportunities. When you change a classroom, you change a school, and when you change a school, you change a community, and when you change a community, you change lives. I urge folks everywhere to learn more, get involved, and join our movement. It's time for GENERATION GROWTH" 

The screening tour of Green Bronx Machine's "Generation Growth" documentary will span across the U.S. to raise awareness of how access to STEM-based nutrition education and healthy food can advance health equity. The documentary aims to educate and inspire teachers and young people to create healthier habits and better health outcomes for their communities. 

To date, the film has swept festivals and captured hearts and minds while coalescing an impressive array of public, private, policy, non-profit, and education partners aligned to an open-access toolkit and online discussion guide designed to support and empower schools and communities across the nation. 

Individuals or groups interested in hosting a "Generation Growth" in-person or virtual screening or learning about additional ways to get involved in supporting Green Bronx Machine's mission can visit generationgrowthfilm.com. 

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