Wholesome Wave Georgia (WWG) received a $302,037 Advancing Innovation in Aging grant from Next50 – a national foundation based in Colorado that supports efforts to improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers – to improve access to fresh, healthy food among older adults over a three-year period within the City of Atlanta.
This funding will allow WWG to expand their current efforts to serve older adults (age 50+) by increasing access to fresh, healthy, locally grown produce and increasing nutrition education among residents at National Church Residences’ Atlanta properties.
“This grant amplifies our nonprofit’s focus on expanding partnerships with leading organizations to serve all Georgians,” said Will Sellers, WWG’s Executive Director. “Next50’s investment and alignment with our nonprofit’s focus increases access to fresh, healthy locally grown fruits and vegetables for Atlanta’s older adults.”
This project will have a positive impact on Atlanta’s older adults living by bringing healthy, locally grown food directly to residents to improve their overall well being. WWG will also offer services such as assistance troubleshooting government benefits like SNAP and Medicare, cooking classes to prepare more nutritious meals, and socialization opportunities such as pop-up farm stands and off-site farm tours.
“We believe in powering innovation in aging,” said Peter Kaldes, President & CEO of Next50. “That’s why we are grateful for the work that Wholesome Wave Georgia is doing to improve the quality of life for older adults. We are proud to support their impactful efforts.”
National Church Residences Director of Affordable Housing, Maureen Freehill said, “National Church Residences is appreciative of Next50’s generous contribution to further Wholesome Wave Georgia’s amazing work with the seniors in our Atlanta apartment communities. This programming and food assistance are invaluable to our vulnerable seniors and furthers our collective commitment to support the health and well-being of the whole person.”
Challenges facing older adults were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and older adults are among those who continue to experience significant increases in food insecurity and social isolation. As a result, WWG is prioritizing projects that bring services directly to apartment communities that cater to aging residents.
The residents have been happy with WWG’s introductory efforts this year, which will inform this project moving forward. One resident asked, “Can we have more cooking events like today? It was nice having people together. Most times, we have to leave the building to attend programs.”
For more information, visit www.wholesomewavegeorgia.org and follow @wholesomewavega.
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ABOUT WHOLESOME WAVE GEORGIA
Wholesome Wave Georgia (WWG) makes fresh, healthy, locally-grown produce affordable and available to Georgians in need through partnerships with over 100 statewide partners, such as farmers markets, farm stands, brick-and-mortar retailers, and healthcare providers. WWG facilitated more than $5.5 million in economic impact via spending at partner sites since 2009 by matching the value of SNAP/EBT (commonly referred to as food stamps) on fruit and vegetable purchases. That means families who spend $10 using SNAP/EBT receive $20 of locally-grown food. Alongside healthcare partners, WWG also provides food prescriptions that make locally-grown food free for participants, which comes with healthy lifestyle coaching. Additionally, WWG offers SNAP benefits assistance through free screenings, enrollments and renewals so that everyday Georgians can access resources they need.
Next50 is a national, private foundation based in Colorado that supports efforts to improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers. The foundation works with community leaders, experts in the field of aging, and front-line professionals to support innovative programs and projects that positively impact aging and longevity.
For more information, visit www.next50initiative.org.
ABOUT NATIONAL CHURCH RESIDENCES
National Church Residences’ team of 2,323 staff members across 25 states aim to live out their mission and values every day, bringing quality care and service to 46,307 seniors who reside in 340 senior living communities, and still more who are cared for in the community or comfort of their home. By 2030, National Church Residences will scale for mission impact, advancing better living for 100,000 seniors, wherever they call home.
For more information, visit www.nationalchurchresidences.org.