McKinney Roots was founded as a backyard garden in 2016 by three local moms to address the issues of increasing poverty, hunger, and food insecurity in Collin County. What started as a small personal effort to address a growing need in the community evolved into a nonprofit farm helping thousands of underserved people every year. The founders of McKinney Roots noticed that over eleven percent of Collin County residents are food insecure. Their mission is to supply fresh, healthy produce and eggs to the food insecure by growing and distributing produce to local nonprofits, churches, and schools. McKinney Roots currently operates on a five-acre farm donated by Dr. Muhammad Uddin and Dr. Rahima Afroza. In 2020, the non-profit became an initiative of the Seed Project Foundation.
Project Description & History
McKinney Roots is a five-acre non-profit farm located in McKinney, Texas where everything produced is donated to community partners who help alleviate hunger in Collin County. McKinney Roots currently grows over 21 varieties of seasonal produce and raises 80 laying hens using only organic and natural practices. The farm uses roughly 2 acres for field crops, a mobile chicken coop for rotational grazing and fertilization, and a hydroponic greenhouse that can produce up to 5,000 heads of lettuce per year.
In 2022, McKinney Roots:
Increased field production by expanding the growing area, improving the soil, and using best practices for growing nutrient dense, organic vegetables
Built a new 80’ by 20’ hydroponic greenhouse used to grow lettuce all year round
Began construction on a new chicken coop to house 400 laying hens
Added a program director to the staff
Donated 12,000 pounds of produce and 3,000 dozen eggs to local community kitchens and food banks, serving at least 250 families a week
Increased community distribution partners to nine organizations
McKinney Roots accomplishes this work with three employees and over 400 volunteers.
McKinney Roots focuses on serving people experiencing food insecurity in Collin County, especially McKinney. Our organization works with nine community partners including McKinney Little Free Pantry, Community Garden Kitchen, Community Lifeline Center, the Samaritan Inn, Neighbors Nourishing Neighbors, and more. Each of these partners are food pantries, community kitchens, or churches that provide free meals and/or a food pantry to low-income families. In 2022, McKinney Roots was able to support 6,300 meals served by community kitchens or groceries for 250 families every week. Once the new chicken coop is operational, approximately 10,000 dozen eggs will be distributed annually.
According to a 2020 study by Feeding America, 109,310 people in Collin County are food insecure. Our partner, Community Garden Kitchen, reports that more than 48,000 children in Collin County experience food insecurity, and 15% of Collin County residents live below the poverty line. Our goal at McKinney Roots is to reduce hunger in Collin County by providing farm fresh nutrient-dense food to community partners who serve this population.