Oct 29

Farm Shares for Seniors

Smiling older woman receiving a box of produce from her care advisor

Each September, Springwell Care Advisors identify seniors who would benefit from access to farm fresh veggies, but who are no longer able to get out to a local farmer’s market. Springwell then works with the Lowell-based non-profit, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, on a delivery of farmer’s market boxes, stuffed to the brim with sun-ripened produce grown by local farmers. New Entry, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is dedicated to training the next generation of farmers and supporting access to fresh produce for people who can particularly benefit, like seniors.

Frequently, recipients of the farm boxes, like Agavni, are not able to get out of the house to do their own shopping but still enjoy cooking their own meals. The program, funded through the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and the USDA, is part of an effort to support elder nutrition. The program meets a unique need for seniors Springwell serves who cannot participate in our Community Dining programs, who don’t necessarily receive home-delivered meals, but who are still in need of nutritional support, and who benefit from access to fresh produce.

When her Springwell care advisor, Hripsime, dropped off her farm box last September, Agavni had a pot of homemade stew simmering on the stove. The box, filled with eggplant, fresh tomatoes, potatoes, and onions was a most welcome addition to her pantry, and she couldn’t wait to start planning her next meal.