East Kansas City food project plans expansion with hopes to end - KCTV5 News

East Kansas City food project plans expansion with hopes to end hunger in metro and beyond

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Taylor is working with HOK, a Kansas City architecture firm, to make the expansion happen. He says the move would essentially triple the size of their current facility and provide an even bigger impact in the community. (KCTV5) Taylor is working with HOK, a Kansas City architecture firm, to make the expansion happen. He says the move would essentially triple the size of their current facility and provide an even bigger impact in the community. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A Kansas City man who created a solution for a food desert in his community, now says he wants to expand both in the metro and throughout the country.

Dre Taylor founded Nile Valley Aquaponics in October of 2015 with the goal of producing 100,000 pounds of local fresh fish and vegetables to create healthier choices, health education, volunteer opportunities and economic stability in the urban core.

The facility is located at 29th Street and Wabash Avenue and features a series of six-foot-deep canals housing 30,000 tilapia, essential to the goal. The tank not only houses the fish but also uses pumps to provide water to nourish plants living above it.

Taylor also uses the facility to hold mentoring programs and tours, educating people on how to grow their own food and find healthy options.

Several members of the community already use the facility but Taylor says he is ready to take the next step and expand.

Taylor is working with HOK, a Kansas City architecture firm, to make the expansion happen. He says the move would essentially triple the size of their current facility and provide an even bigger impact in the community.

“It’s needed in this area. A lot of times it’s deemed a food desert and so we want to show people how to grow food locally, healthy and can also provide jobs while we are doing it in the process,” Taylor said.

Taylor wants to be in the new facility by the end of 2018 and says Kansas City is not the only place where his program could meet a need.

“My hope with this is to see it duplicated in other cities and...be able to spread the world of providing access to healthy food, economic development, community involvement,” Taylor said. “Other cities, other countries around the world who have interest in what we are doing and so we are trying to get that  modeled down.”

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