Quest Diagnostics Foundation and Green Bronx Machine Expand Collaboration to Bring Acclaimed Indoor Gardening Curriculum to More Communities and Raise Awareness for Impact of Nutrition Education on Health Equity

Foundation grant will help NYC-based nonprofit expand reach of its innovative curriculum to 50 schools in Baltimore and Houston

Funding will also support film screening tour of award-winning documentary to highlight importance of health equity through STEM-based nutrition education

SECAUCUS, N.J. and BRONX, N.Y., April 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — 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,” said Jim Davis, Chairman, CEO, and President. “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.” 

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.”

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 young people to create healthier habits and better health outcomes for their communities.

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.

About the Quest Diagnostics Foundation 
The Quest Diagnostics Foundation was formed in 2001 to promote the benefits of healthcare and wellness, drive the prevention, early detection, monitoring and treatment of disease, and educate the general public and healthcare professionals on healthcare issues. Together with Quest Diagnostics, the Foundation sponsors Quest for Health Equity.

About Quest for Health Equity
Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) is a $100+ million initiative launched in 2020 focused on eliminating health disparities in underserved communities across the U.S. Q4HE began with a comprehensive effort to provide access to COVID-19 testing and other critical resources in communities hit hardest by the pandemic. Today, Q4HE supports programs focused on increasing health equity through education, outreach, and greater access to healthcare. By joining forces with like-minded community stakeholders, Q4HE addresses the specific needs of the communities it serves while producing outcomes at scale. Q4HE is an initiative supported by Quest Diagnostics and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation.

About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics works across the healthcare ecosystem to create a healthier world, one life at a time. We provide diagnostic insights from the results of our laboratory testing to empower people, physicians and organizations to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of de-identifiable clinical lab results, Quest’s diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve healthcare management. Quest Diagnostics annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives and create a healthier world. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

About Green Bronx Machine
Green Bronx Machine builds healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development. Dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope, our school-based model uses urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators to grow healthy students and healthy schools and transform communities that are fragmented and marginalized into neighborhoods that are inclusive and thriving. Individuals or groups interested in hosting a “Generation Growth” in-person or virtual screening or learning about additional ways to partner with Green Bronx Machine’s mission can contact Stephen Ritz at [email protected]. All other information is available on our website.

SOURCE Quest Diagnostics

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/quest-diagnostics-foundation-and-green-bronx-machine-expand-collaboration-to-bring-acclaimed-indoor-gardening-curriculum-to-more-communities-and-raise-awareness-for-impact-of-nutrition-education-on-health-equity-302127153.html
Images courtesy of PixaBay

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