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Lackawanna College

Lackawanna College, Scranton, Pa. (Ecology and  Biological Science Classes)
Join the Fight Against World Hunger with Earth Boxes!

In 2012, ecology class BIO 225 at Lackawanna College joined the fight against world hunger. The class was only nine strong but we accomplished so much both in and outside of the classroom. We grew our own lettuce in Earthboxes and then donated the lettuce plus non-perishable food to a local charity.

Fast forward to FALL 2013 and we are still participating in this fight against World Hunger. We now have close to 30 students and more Earthboxes and we are armed to build upon the foundation of last year’s success. My students are energized to engage is this War. During the waning weeks of summer, my lab assistant and I have planted the seeds, allowing them to germinate and grow to an appropriate length to be transplanted into Earthboxes shortly after the students return from summer vacation. So we are Ready to Go!!!!( See Photo)

As a Biology Professor, I am very excited about this project. I have extended my curriculum to incorporate issues surrounding World Hunger and the extreme need for both continued and enhanced Photosynthesis!!! The Earthbox provides a wonderful medium to accomplish these goals. Lackawanna College is located in an urban environment with diminished areas for growing anything!!!! But the Earthboxes serve as each student’s own photosynthesizing unit and allow the students a “hands on” approach to understand the link between the sun, green plants and ultimately feeding hungry people. They soon realize the need to both learn and incorporate sustainability into the world if we are ever to have a chance against World Hunger.


This year my classes have chosen to join an Army, The Salvation Army, to fight World Hunger in our community. We are partnering with our local Salvation Army for the entire semester. After meeting with the officials at the Salvation Army, my students now realize that World Hunger is not always a continent away but there are many hungry people not very far from our campus. Below are some of the goals we have set for ourselves this year at Lackawanna College:

  1. We have almost tripled the number of students at Lackawanna College that will be involved with growing lettuce in their Earthboxes which will at least double the amount of Fresh Lettuce we can donate to our hungry neighbors.
  2. We have again initiated a non-perishable food drive to coincide with the harvesting of the lettuce. All food will stock the Food Bank at the Salvation Army.
  3. We have committed to help both organize and hand out food during the Salvation Army’s Holiday Food Drives.
  4. The biology classes engaged in this project will be demonstrating the importance of Photosynthesis, Green Plants, Sustainability and World Hunger to other groups of students in our community.

This is so Exciting and rewarding for my students who they have learned so much about Fighting World Hunger!!!!! Hopefully as we continue to learn. We will continue to grow not only lettuce but in numbers to continue the Fight!!!!!

Submitted by Lynn B. DeSanto  MT (ASCP) MS

Assistant Professor, Laboratory Manager