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Garden for Seniors in Philadelphia Receives Grant

  • Published: 2010-07-15 : Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
  • Synopsis: Community Garden for Older Adults in Philadelphia Receives Grant from PA Department of Aging

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Community Garden for Older Adults in Philadelphia Receives Grant from PA Department of Aging.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today announced a nutrition services grant to help members of the Nationalities Service Center Senior Center tend their community garden in North Philadelphia. The food grown there is used in preparing meals for center members.

"This innovative project is helping to provide fresh and nutritious food for center members and creates camaraderie by providing an area for older adults to tend to their gardens together," said Deputy Secretary of Aging Ray Prushnok.

The project, which is receiving more than $26,000, is one of 47 projects in 42 counties selected for funding through a competitive bid process. The funding is from a $3.7 million allotment made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and distributed by the Department of Aging.

The garden is located on the grounds of Our Lady of Hope Church on Broad Street and features individual plots as well as a large community space. The project offers an opportunity for younger people, volunteers and neighbors to become involved in an effort that gives older adults access to locally grown, fresh produce.

The center, which opened in 1986, serves older immigrants and refugees from Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq and other countries, as well as people born in the United States. Many of them are among the most underserved and vulnerable members of the community. Center members had a hand in selecting plants and seeds for the garden that supplies food for their daily lunches.

No chemicals or pesticides are used and barrels collect rainwater to water the plots. Food waste is composted for re-use in the growing process. Fruits, herbs and vegetables from Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the southern United States and Pennsylvania native plants are being grown.

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