Jovenes Junto con Ancianos para un Mejor Mañana : JJAMM Food Network

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Southern New Hampshire University
(JJAMM Food Network) was designed to address three different needs in the community of Lawrence, MA: health, education and employment. The JJAMM Food Network is composed of 4 areas: Elder and Teen Program, Community Gardening, Micro Enterprising, and Community Network. The JJAMM Food Network began with a structural component teaching nutrition, fitness, gardening, and money management. Elders and Teens were able to put into practice what they have learned, as they planted and tended a garden and harvested the crops. The crops harvested were prepared to be sold at a food stand and sold to local restaurant owners. Groundwork Lawrence (GWL) donated the use of gardening beds on Brook Street and an alleyway between Mechanic and Union St. The program began in summer 2006 and will have an opportunity to continue for the years to come. Funding was challenging but the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted funding towards GWL's vision of the Food Network for 2007. The JJAMM Food Network brought together teenagers and elders who participated in the structured program while building a much needed relationship between each other. There are stereotypes that are built in into each social group, which made it very difficult for these two social groups to interact. There were many benefits to participating in the JJAMM Food Network. It prepared each team to not only grow crops but also to think about forming a business or further develop their skills educationally. The JJAMM Food Network not only allowed a social network, but provided a network with local restaurant owners who purchased some of the crops that were grown in the community gardens. (Author abstract)