TERI Organic Microgreens Enterprise Expansion Creating Opportunity for People with Special Needs

We are always looking for meaningful, skill-building vocational opportunities for our adults,” said TERI CEO Cheryl Kilmer, “That’s why we created a program that doesn’t end with empowering our own vocational students, but one that is sustainable and revenue-generating.

Southern California nonprofit TERI Inc. is embarking on a major expansion to one of its largest social enterprises, TERI Organic Microgreens. In response to increased customer demand, the TERI Organic Microgreens Program is building two new 1200 square feet greenhouses and adding more urban farmers to supply product to its growing restaurant customer base, all the while providing the needed program assistance to TERI vocational students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who benefit from the venture.

The expansion project is made possible by investment grants totaling $115,000 from The Rolf Benirschke Legacy Foundation and The Westreich Foundation. TERI is seeking an additional $35,000 to reach its goal to complete its microgreens expansion project.

TERI launched its community outreach micro-business in 2011 with one greenhouse to create daily vocational and skill-building opportunities for adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as to create a sustainable, revenue generating program which serves as a model for other organizations to replicate. After completion the three greenhouses will total 3,600 square feet on 1.5 acres of land.

The popular, nutrient-dense microgreens are grown, harvested, and delivered by TERI’s vocational students to more than 17 restaurants in North San Diego. The greenhouse expansion and addition of staff will allow TERI to produce three times more microgreens involving more vocational…

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