Green Bronx Machine and Quest Diagnostics Foundation Team Up to Expand Acclaimed Indoor Gardening Curriculum to Inspire Healthier Students
Foundation grant will help NYC-based nonprofit expand reach to 15,000 underserved students in three states

Bronx, N.Y./Secaucus, N.J, Feb. 15, 2022: Green Bronx Machine, a transformational educational nonprofit helping students and teachers turn classrooms into agricultural learning experiences, today announced a collaboration with the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, that will enable Green Bronx Machine to reach students in 30 underserved schools in Colorado, Ohio, and New York.

In these classrooms, students and teachers will grow vegetables using the Tower Gardens® aeroponic growing system and use plant life to teach multiple subjects including science, math, and language arts. Beyond academics, the food grown is used to enhance the health of the students and their communities through improved nutrition. 

“The best investment we can make is in our youth,” said Stephen Ritz, CEO and founder of Green Bronx Machine. “I want to help grow the next generation of high performing schools, highly successful students, and happy, healthy and high-performing teachers. With the support of the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, we’ll be able to significantly expand our reach, increase health equity, create more opportunities for historically underserved communities and, through all of this, make a better world.” 

Ritz, an internationally acclaimed award-winning educator, founded Green Bronx Machine as an after-school program to engage failing students. The program utilizes urban agriculture and education to help support the needs of food insecure individuals, educate minds, and feed students and their communities. To date, Green Bronx Machine’s project-based learning program has engaged over 100,000 students in 20 states and six nations, generating significant academic student achievement and increased graduation rates, improved health outcomes, and key insights into how food justice, food access, and overall well-being are interconnected.

One major supporter of Green Bronx Machine is Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City. According to Adams, “Improved nutrition education in our schools will be critical to combat the chronic health conditions found in our communities, which are due in large part to limited knowledge of, and exposure to, healthy foods among our youth. Green Bronx Machine has found an innovative way to tackle this and will continue to play a crucial role in supporting the healthy development of our communities—one student at a time, one community at a time.”

The Quest Diagnostics Foundation, as part of the Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) initiative, is providing a grant to Green Bronx Machine to support expanding its programming to 30 schools. Q4HE is a multi-year initiative of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation focused on providing a combination of donated testing services, education programs, partnerships, and funding to support initiatives to close the gap in healthcare disparities in underserved communities.

“We are proud to team up with Green Bronx Machine in supporting its mission to educate and inspire young people while creating better health outcomes for their communities,” said Ruth Clements, President of the Quest Diagnostics Foundation. “In doing so we are helping to reduce health care disparities in underserved communities.”  

The Quest Diagnostics Foundation will support Green Bronx Machine to expand its reach into lower-income communities, with a focus on strengthening access to nutritious food while inspiring students through dynamic educational experiences. These schools will receive: Green Bronx Machine’s licensed curriculum; the Tower Gardens® aeroponic growing system which students use to grow vegetables; professional development and coaching for educators, and ongoing programmatic support to ensure successful outcomes.

"With the help of the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, we will be able to increase access to nutritious food while delivering proven, data-driven, project-based, hands-on, innovative, educational opportunities,” said Ritz.


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.

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 empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, Quest’s diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors, and improve health care 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.