Wings for Crossover Helps School Establish Food Security

The founder of Integrated Oncology Network, LLC, Jeffrey A. Goffman leads the radiation oncology management and cancer center development company as its chairman and CEO. He also founded OnCURE Medical Corp., one of the nation’s premier providers of radiation oncology therapy, and U.S. Diagnostic, Inc., a consolidator of outpatient diagnostic imaging facilities. Outside the office, Jeffrey Goffman enjoys several leisure and recreational activities and supports numerous charitable endeavors, especially the American Cancer Society and Wings for Crossover.

Wings for Crossover, a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2013 by Jim Conti and Chad Cooper, supports the activities of the Crossover International Academy, which serves a student population of about 250 children in the area around Ghana’s Lake Volta. The Academy serves not only as a school for the children, who are either orphans or former slaves, but also provides them with food and shelter.

Although Wings for Crossover tried to focus its efforts on building a new school to replace the ramshackle structures the Academy was using, it quickly became clear that providing a secure, reliable food supply for the students was equally pressing. The organization thus invested in an aquaponic farming system for the school. This combines fish farming, or aquaculture, with hydroponics, the farming of plants without soil, in a symbiotic system.

Operated primarily by students, the Academy’s aquaponics system can support 4,000 tilapia and 3,000 plants. It uses 27,000 gallons of water, which are recycled regularly between the fish ponds and the plant beds, providing nutrient-rich water for the plants and returning clean, oxygen-rich water to the fish. The farm’s first fruits were harvested in March 2014, when mature fish were harvested and salted, and the first crop of tomatoes, beans, and peppers was taken to market and exchanged for bulk rice.

More information about Wings for Crossover is available at http://www.wingsforcrossover.org.

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