Jonathan Lawler is a farmer, living in a community whose business is growing food. His Greenfield, Ind.-based farm operated for seven years, harvesting nearly 700,000 pounds of feed every year, according to the Indianapolis Star.
So he was shocked one day to find out from his son that kids were going hungry at his school, and had to take food home from the school’s pantry.
How could this be? His town was rich in resources, yet were still unable to feed the neighboring communities. Most farms in his area produce corn, soybeans and wheat, but for industrial production — they go into products like ethanol and animal feed. Not many foods actually produce crops that humans can eat. Something in the system was broken, and no child should go hungry, he believed.
What’s more, some counties in his area are high in food insecurity — where people have a hard time accessing high-quality, nutritious food within a reasonable distance, and many can’t afford it, because they don’t qualify for the government’s SNAP program because of income guidelines. As a result, church-based pantries and food banks and pantries are stretched thin.
Jonathan decided to do something about it. To the shock of the entire town, he turned his farm from a for-profit operation to a food aid organization.
Now his Brandywine Creek Farms provide local food banks, soup kitchens and hungry people with food to eat. He, his wife and their three sons put many hours in labor, and lean on volunteers to help grow, cultivate and harvest food.
Even more, Jonathan is encouraging and working with local farmers to donate a portion of their harvests to others as well. Watch Jonathan’s conviction and determination in action below…