Visionary farmer helps feed seniors who are at-risk for hunger

Jonathan Lawler, owner of Brandywine Creek Farms. (AARP photo by Maddie McGarvy)

Jonathan Lawler, owner and operator of Brandywine Creek Farms in Greenfield, Ind., decided to use 19 of his 77 acres to feed the hungry, particularly at-risk seniors, Diana Lamirand writes for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

“This isn’t a handout,” Lawler said. “We’re just going back to farming the way we used to, providing for our community.” He referenced Matthew 25:35, a passage of the Bible that says, “For I was hungry, and you gave me food.”

Originally, Lawler imagined the hungry as homeless people who slept under bridges downtown, but he soon realized that people right in his own community may also live without enough food. Actually, 13.5 percent of low-income seniors in the state are at risk of hunger, Lamirand reports.

Lawyer’s farm partner with AARP Indiana to create a place that visitors can learn how to plant and grow their own crops. Seniors help plant and tend the garden and are allowed to purchase the produce at a low cost or get it for free.

Lawyer decided to donate one-third of his land’s produce to those in need. The food goes to several local organizations, including a hospital, and two trucks even delver some of it to areas of the state where residents don’t have easy access to fresh food.

Clyde Hall, 80, a McCordsville resident, served as one of the volunteers who planted the AARP garden earlier this year. “People have lost touch with where our food comes from” he said. “They don’t see the day-to-day connection food and the source, which is the land.”

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