Teens hand-pick, hand deliver fresh produce to west Louisville seniors
Teens taking part in the Mayor's SummerWorks program at Oxmoor Farm made a special delivery to the tenants of Strothers Senior Apartments along Dixie Highway in West Louisville. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The teens proudly dished out their homegrown produce and recipe suggestions to seniors who staff said do not always have the best access to fresh produce. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Malcolm Ratliffe (Source: WAVE 3 News)
DeAndrae Hughes (Source: WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After spending the summer honing their green thumbs, a group of Louisville teens shared the fruits of their labor with others in the community.
Teens taking part in the Mayor's SummerWorks program at Oxmoor Farm made a special delivery to the tenants of Strothers Senior Apartments along Dixie Highway in West Louisville.
For Malcolm Ratliffe, 17, the act of sharing hand-picked Swiss char with the tenants marked a milestone of growth.
"Just starting off," began Ratliffe, "it's hard when it comes to getting used to the heat."
For DeAndrae Hughes, 18, the donation drop-off provided a chance to proudly share the fruits of his labor.
"I'd never even been on a farm before so I didn't even know how that whole thing worked," said Hughes. "We grew all this char and onions ourselves and we picked it ourselves."
The teens made up part of a larger group of six youngsters working with Oxmoor Farm's Youth Community Agriculture Program as part of Louisville's SummerWorks Program. The teens proudly dished out their homegrown produce and recipe suggestions to seniors who staff said do not always have the best access to fresh produce.
"They have limitation as far as transportation and the financial affordability of local grown produce," said Heather Oliver, Strother's Senior Apartments Property Manager.
The experience proved to be nourishing for both donors and recipients, as participants bridged an obvious generation gap with fresh food Tuesday.
"We want to hear how food has changed in their life time," said The Food Literacy Program Manager Kitty Nowak.
Through dialogue with the Strother's tenants, teens like Hughes found inspiration to educate others.
"There's a generation out here that's lost in the food world," said Hughes. "They're eating just anything and they don't even know what's in it. So, I feel responsible especially since I'm learning this knowledge about healthy eating."
"The lesson is immeasurable," said Oliver. "They're obviously working and learning about agriculture and food over the summer but being able to give back, especially to the community that they live in and to serve the seniors, that's a lifelong lesson."
In addition to donation drop-offs, the Youth Community Agriculture Program will also take part in several farmers markets in St. Matthews and the Louisville's NULU area.
To learn more about the Food Literacy Program, and its program offerings including the Youth Community Agriculture Program, click here.