BRANDYWINE CREEK FARMS GROWS WITH AARP PARTNERSHIP TO COMBAT FOOD DESERTS WHILE PROVIDING FRESH AND LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE TO OLDER HOOSIERS
Organizations working to ensure no one goes hungry with “AARP Education Garden”A WalkScore.com study in 2014 ranked Indianapolis last for residents with access to a grocery store within a five-minute walk, which includes older residents. To help provide fresh fruits and vegetables specifically to older Hoosiers, Brandywine Creek Farms and AARP Indiana have partnered together to create the “AARP Education Garden” as part of the organization’s Still Growing Seniors program. “The idea to partner with AARP developed after an elderly woman we met right here in Indianapolis said she buys dog food because she doesn’t have access to affordable and fresh food,” said Jonathan Lawler, executive director, Brandywine Creek Farms. “We do not want anyone to be without affordable and fresh food – especially for seniors who are sometimes a forgotten group. We’re working to create a sustainable and permanent solution, not just a Band-Aid, to ensure food deserts no longer exist.” “At AARP Indiana we strive to make out communities more livable,” said Sarah Waddle, AARP Indiana State Director. “There’s nothing more basic to that ideal than access to healthy food. We are excited about this partnership and the impact it will have on our older friends and neighbors.” Open to volunteers of all ages, the “AARP Education Garden” will cultivate crops similar to a home garden such as tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers. AARP Indiana will also be able to connect volunteers with the Farm to help aging citizens stay active. “The Farm even has special chairs for harvesting making it easy for almost anyone to volunteer,” said Lawler. “We look forward to providing a way for seniors to give back while gardening, which is something we’ve found this group to really enjoy.” For more information or to volunteer, visit BrandywineCreekFarms.org.