Like thousands of others, filmmaker Brendan van Meter first encountered Stephen Ritz at the 2012 TEDxManhattan conference. Stephen, the founder of Green Bronx Machine, gave a talk introducing viewers to his organization, which uses farming to get high school students in the Bronx more engaged in school, while also teaching them about healthy eating and growing enough food to feed not just the kids but the surrounding community. The organization proves that, as Stephen says, “It is easier to raise healthy children than fix broken men.” His TEDxManhattan talk, filmed by Brendan in his role as TEDxManhattan’s Director of Video Production, has been watched more than 100,000 times online.
Brendan, President of Beaconhouse Media, and Stephen have since collaborated on a short video about Green Bronx Machine that won the People’s Choice Award in the 2014 Real Food Media Contest, as well as being named first runner-up. In the video, Stephen’s students talk about the impact of Green Bronx Machine on their lives. In the words of one, “This program changed the way I thought about going to school because I had actually something to look forward to.” Stephen and Brendan discuss the video in a recent interview on the Real Food Media Contest website.
Stephen also gave an update on his work at TEDxManhattan 2014, where he exhibited the tower gardens used by Green Bronx Machine, which allow produce to be easily grown indoors.
Watch Brendan & Stephen’s award-winning video to learn more about this “new Bronx story.” You can get more information, and learn how to get involved, at greenbronxmachine.com. For more about Beaconhouse Media, see beaconhousemedia.com.