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Georgia

Mableton Loves Local Produce

Carpool program helps residents visit farmers market and maintain a community garden

AARP Bulletin State News GA: Mableton

Eunice Adams received help from AARP Georgia to arrange transportation for Parkland Manor Senior Apartments residents to go to the weekly Mableton Farmers Market. — Photo by Russell Kaye

Eunice Adams, the unofficial coordinator of resident outings at Parkland Senior Apartments, says the Mableton Farmers Market is more than a destination for a weekly trip.

It's a lifeline to the older residents who enjoy both the fellowship and the fresh food the market offers.

See also: AARP working with Macon.

Adams knows the key to making this happen is to coordinate safe and dependable transportation. 

"There are some here who drive," Adams said. "But a lot more like to go and get fresh produce and socialize and have something to look forward to. So I decided to organize a carpool system to make sure everyone who wanted to go knew they had a ride."

Adams said AARP Georgia helped make the carpooling more practical. AARP frequently had sent experts to Parkland Manor to help residents with things such as getting lower car insurance premiums or understanding whether they qualified for food assistance. So no one was surprised when the association offered to help again.

"They provide every driver who carries four or more residents with a $10 gift card, used primarily for gas. And for those who have a van and can carry six people, they get a $20 card," she said.

Usually 20 or 30 Parkland residents go to the market every Thursday morning.

AARP Georgia staff members and volunteers staff a booth at the market each week. They educate shoppers about the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, and tell them about future AARP-sponsored events in Mableton, such as its twice-yearly health clinics based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention screenings, where people can have their blood pressure checked and get flu shots and various screenings.

Next: First-time gardener grows okra, tomatoes and more. » 

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James Brown talks to Hollygrove residents about the rewards and challenges of community gardening in New Orleans. 

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