Seniors go back to their roots

On September 1 a group of seniors from JABA’s Scottsville Community Center hopped on JAUNT buses and headed out to Maple Hill Farm, the 75-acre certified organic farm operated by the nonprofit Local Food Hub and owned by Dave Matthews.

The new program, underwritten by a $10,925 grant to JAUNT by Virginia Senior Transportation, plus $575 in matching funds from the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA), hopes to give older folks better access to fresh local food. The program will allow seniors in Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, and Nelson counties to shop at local farms, grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

In addition to promoting healthy aging and supporting the local food movement, JABA officials also say the program will give seniors the opportunity to “exercise, socialize and, for the many who grew up on farms, reminisce about raising their own food when they were young.”

Indeed, while foodies crow about the local food movement, many seniors, who grew up around World War II, remember growing and raising their own food as a way of life, first to survive the Great Depression, then as a way to aid the war effort, as “Victory Gardens” were promoted to boost morale and increase the nation’s food supply.