Durham urban farm earns $40K award for work

Posted November 13, 2019 6:30 a.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2019 11:21 a.m. EST

— One Durham nonprofit is working to teach young people about gardening and healthy food choices. On Thursday, Seeds will be honored with a $40,000 award for improving health outcomes, one of 10 winners of the GSK Impact Awards.

GSK, which has offices in Durham and Philadelphia, awards grants each year to "nonprofit programs that are working every day to address critical community health challenges."

Seeds NC is a two-acre urban garden and kitchen classroom in the heart of Durham. The goal is to teach young people to respect the earth through growing, cooking and sharing food.

After school, students spend two days a week on the farm, two days a week in the kitchen, and one day working on empathy-building and talking about their struggles.

Durham urban farm earns $40K award for work

The kids who participate love it, and parents say there’s nothing like it in the area.

“It’s just amazing, I think, for kids to come in and learn how to grow things and cook and play with chickens and geese and things like that. It’s a very idyllic childhood," said Katryna Robinson.

SEEDS NC’s executive director says it’s critical that they expose students to hands-on education in sustainability.

“As technology continues to grow, it becomes a bigger part of our lives. Youth need to be outside more and connected to each other. This is a way we can see some change in Durham," said Jeff Howell.

“As Durham develops into a growing city, having open space and greenery and chickens and a farm is huge," he said. “There’s so many long-term residents of this area that we really want to support the youth and the families in any way that we can. And if that means we’re providing food and lifting stress in that way, then that’s what we are doing.”

And after 25 years of blooming success, this nonprofit is sure to keep growing.

Other 2019 winners of the GSK Impact award are:

Club Nova Community, Inc.

Code the Dream

GiGi’s Playhouse Raleigh

Learning Together

Marian Cheek Jackson Center

Passage Home, Inc.

Refugee Community Partnership


White Oak Foundation, Inc.

The winners were selected by a panel of local and national community leaders through a competitive process. The nonprofits needed to demonstrate innovative, measured and sustainable approaches to addressing at least one of the following six community health factors: Community Safety, Education, Employment & Income, Family & Social Support, Housing & Built Environment, and Nutrition & Physical Activity.

In the Triangle Region, the GSK IMPACT Awards are presented in partnership with Triangle Community Foundation.

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