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6 Ways to Use Shipping Container Farms for Charity

Shipping container farms are so versatile, it’s no wonder they work great as charity tools.

From feeding a school, to becoming a second career, shipping container farms can be used for any number of purposes.

But charity is one of the most admirable ones.

In this article, you’ll learn about some ways you can use shipping container farms for charity.

Supply a Food Bank

Food banks get some of their food from farm donations, but it can be difficult to get and keep fresh produce.

This is mostly because fresh produce has such a short shelf life.

Shipping container farms are compact and mobile, so they can be placed very close to food banks, even in urban areas.

As a result, shipping container farms can supply food to food banks all year long, without having to worry about freshness.

This helps those in need get some healthy food in their diets.

Feed a Homeless Shelter

At the beginning of 2020, half a million people were homeless in the United States and that number will be much higher by the end of the year.

Homeless people are often malnourished because they don’t have easy access to fresh produce.

This is because they have limited money to buy food, so they eat for fullness rather than nutrition and don’t prioritize food quality.

Shipping container farms can provide up to 20 times as much lettuce per square foot, as a traditional garden.

If a shelter had a container farm on property, it could provide the shelter with healthy, fresh produce to promote balanced diets.

Feed Food Insecure Children

Nearly 13 million children in the United States live in food insecure households.

Food insecurity is when a person or household doesn’t have reliable, easy access to sufficient food.

But by working with schools, shipping container farms can increase food security for children and their families.

Schools can partner with a shipping container farm business or start their own on campus.

This would increase the availability of nutritious food and teach students about it.

In fact, farm to school programs have been shown to improve food security for children and their families.

Additionally, shipping container farms can be used for after-school clubs and community programs.

For example, one bank in New York donated a shipping container farm to a local Boys and Girls Club of America.

Provide a Community Garden

A shipping container farm can also function as a community garden.

Community gardens are popular in urban areas where farmable land is scarce.

In community gardens, different members of a community work together to grow food for themselves and each other.

If placed in a food desert, this could be a valuable access point for fresh vegetables.

Farm work could be done on a volunteer basis, or space in the farm could be rented out to individuals.

Plus, community gardens increase property values in the surrounding area, especially if located in a poor neighborhood.

Create Jobs for Homeless People

Gardening programs are already popular job training tools used by nonprofits to help homeless people.

Shipping container farms need labor to operate, so they can be used to provide employment.

For example, a women’s shelter in Florida uses farming and cooking programs to help homeless women and children.

And in Georgia, residents work together to grow food for the shelter using its rooftop farm.

These employment opportunities also help people build valuable skills and experience they can use to get other jobs.


Nonprofits can grow and sell food from their shipping container farms in order to make extra revenue for their primary cause.

For example, a nonprofit in New Mexico grows produce in a shipping container farm and sells it to local markets and restaurants.

The proceeds are used to support the nonprofit’s youth shelter and other resources.

Alternatively, companies or individuals can donate a portion of their profits from their shipping container farms to charities.

These six charitable uses for shipping container farms, have the potential to make a huge difference your community.

To learn more about what container farms can do, visit our website or call 602-753-3469.