COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Every year on June 17, Nexstar Media Group, the corporate parent of NBC4, celebrates the company’s anniversary by giving back.
Founder’s Day of Caring is an annual event that allows Nexstar station employees to volunteer their time in the communities they serve. Local television news staff across the country will be performing different community service acts as a part of the occasion.
Roughly 60 NBC4 staff members will take part in the volunteer initiative at two different locations, both of which focus on feeding our hungry neighbors.
This year, NBC4 station volunteers will assist in establishing the brand-new Mid-Ohio Farm at NBC4. The urban farm is a joint venture between Mid-Ohio Food Collective and NBC4 designed to grow up to 100,000 pounds of food annually.
Nearly three acres behind the NBC4 station building are being converted into vertical farmland. The area will employ high-tech vertical hydroponics practices and grow dozens of plants per square foot instead of one plant per square foot like a traditional horizontal farm or garden.
NBC4 Vice President and General Manager Ken Freedman, recently talked about the project and why the station’s neighborhood is a good fit for the farm.
“We are in a food desert. There is no food here. So the thought was, ‘Hey, how do we turn this thing [the land behind the station] into something productive?’ Freedman said. “A lot of our neighbors are trying to grow vegetables in Home Depot buckets on our fence line.”
NBC4 employees will perform the physically demanding task of erecting two small high tunnels and vertical towers at the farm under the lead and guidance of Mid-Ohio Farm staff. Volunteers will also be involved in site cleanup and other farm tasks.
Additionally, NBC4 will be partnering with LifeCare Alliance. Workers from the station will be assisting with the not-for-profit’s Meals-on-Wheels program and its Groceries-to-Go nutritional program. NBC4 recruits will help organize the Groceries-to-Go pantry, pack Meals-on-Wheels for distribution and assist with client calls and other tasks as needed.
LifeCare Alliance provides a wide variety of health and nutrition services to residents of central Ohio. The organization was established more than 100 years ago in 1898 and was Columbus’ first in-home health care agency and Ohio’s first Visiting Nurse Association.
Today, LifeCare Alliance is one of the five largest Meals-on-Wheels providers in the United States, producing more than 4,000 meals for seniors and medically challenged and disabled individuals, and 2,000 Meals-for-Kids each day.