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Christopher J. Currey, Ann Marie VanDerZanden, and Joshua J. Mitchell

Food security is a growing global concern. To meet the needs of an ever-growing population, food production practices will need to evolve to maximize food quantity and quality. Controlled-environment food production has increased significantly in the United States over the past 5 years, and a component of that production includes hydroponic food crops. In an effort to better prepare a workforce with knowledge of hydroponic crop production, a new course was added to an existing greenhouse curriculum. A service-learning project was integrated in the course that allowed students to experience both growing crops hydroponically and volunteering at a local food bank with a free meal program. Self-assessment showed a significant increase in student confidence in understanding food security by the end of the course. There was also a significant knowledge gained in defining terminology, factors, and the impact of food security in a community. The three guided reflections students completed during the course identified four common themes relative to the course content and service-learning project including the following: community benefits, value of volunteering, local and global effects of food insecurity, and personal growth.