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Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine visits Denver Green School

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by Chris Woodburn – Sustainability Program Specialist, Oct. 13, 2020

Stephen Ritz present to DGS students

Stephen Ritz connects food justice with social justice.

Educator and author, Stephen Ritz, visited Denver Green School to share his experience bringing indoor gardening and nutrition to students in the Bronx.  As the founder of Green Bronx MachineRitz brought hands-on learning to thousands of students with indoor tower gardens producing food for students and their families.  His efforts have dramatically improved attendance and test scores as students engage with the living curriculum. As COVID shut down the nation, Stephen turned schools into greatly needed food distribution centers.  Abandoned retail spaces were converted to indoor growing operations, creating living wage jobs and pumping out food for the city.  Classes went virtual and Stephen taught students and families how to cook the produce to feed their families. The impact on the community continues as ever more students and families learn and reap the benefits of fresh, healthy food in the middle of food deserts.  

Stephen gets students passionate about growing food and social justice.

Stephen Ritz at Denver Green School

Denver Green School sixth graders heard Stephen share his exciting message of hope and change and then gave him a tour of their own community garden, sharing their experiences of growing food and working together.  Stephen was the keynote speaker at Denver Urban Gardens’ Gather Round celebration, sharing his expertise and growing support for DUG as the largest community garden organization in America.