The groups unveiled the new Community Food Truck, a mobile farm stand that delivers vegetables to the communities, last week. Vegetables are available for approximately 50 percent off the regular price every Tuesday until Oct. 23 at the following times and locations:
Three Forks: Three Rivers Senior Citizens Club, 19 E. Cedar, 1-2 p.m.
Belgrade: Belgrade Senior Friendship Center, 92 E. Cameron Ave., 3-4 p.m.
The mobile farm stand is designed to increase access to fresh, nutritious produce for seniors ages 50 and older in southwest Montana and provide beneficial nutrition education.
"The food bank has seen a rise in the number of older adults requesting food assistance over the past few years," said Lori Christenson, program manager of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. "The rise in seniors having to face disquieting choices between paying for food or medical expenses, for example, will likely continue to increase.... While enough food to live a healthy life is important at any age, it becomes increasingly important if you are an older adult, living on a tight budget, with limited mobility, and variable access to fresh foods."
A $200,000 Hunger Innovation Grant funds the project.
The grant, from the AARP Foundation, is one of 10 grants totaling $3.7 million that the foundation awarded last fall. According to AARP Foundation, the organization "is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50 by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50 while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is the charitable affiliate of AARP. Learn more at aarpfoundation.org."
Towne's Harvest Garden, a three-acre diversified vegetable garden, is a collaborative project of the MSU College of Agriculture, MSU College of Education, Health and Human Development and MSU Friends of Local Foods. It began as a student project in 2006 and has grown to include a Community Supported Agriculture program, a farm stand on campus and the Community Food Truck. Each summer, students, volunteers and interns grow vegetables at the Horticulture Farm located just west of the MSU campus. For more information, visit www.townesharvest.montana.edu or email firstname.lastname@example.org.