DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Community members and staff from The Foodbank gathered Monday morning to honor the opening of the Beverly K. Greenehouse. The new, high-tech facility was a gift from the family of Beverly Greene, a dedicated Miami Valley resident who passed away in 2019 after a long battle with cancer.
Beverly’s husband Tom Greene, said the family was moved to donate to The Foodbank after seeing the long lines of people waiting to receive meals while on his way to work at his nearby business.
“Bev and I really believed that we could help close the equity gap by investing in the community, again, by putting up steel and putting up something that will help feed the people.”
The 6,000-square-foot greenhouse will use local resources to grow leafy greens like lettuce, spinach and kale, which will be distributed to community members who utilize The Foodbank’s services.
“If anybody sees some of the food we distribute, you’ll notice a lot of our fresh produce is what we call the hard seven,” said chief development officer for the organization, Lee Lauren Truesdale. “Watermelons, apples, cucumbers, a variety of peppers. These are items that have a longer shelf life and don’t wilt quickly. We all know lettuce is not an item that has a long shelf life, so we’ll be able to actually harvest lettuce in the morning here in the greenhouse and put it out for distribution, either through our drive thru or one of our 100 partner agencies who feed folks in need.”
And after he and his wife strategically moved their business to one of lowest income areas of Dayton nearly 25 years ago to help create opportunities, Mr. Greene said he couldn’t think of a better way to honor his wife’s legacy.
“It’s kind of ironic because some of her sisters asked why would we ever do this because she couldn’t grow anything,” he joked. “But she did have a very deep attachment to this community. And we both thought it was just a wonderful thing and it was a great thing to do. And what better name for a greenhouse than the Beverly K. Greenehouse?”
Staff at The Foodbank plans to start growing vegetables in the Beverly K. Greenehouse as early as next week.