Program Developed by Residents Will Enable Local Food Bank Opportunity to Give Fresh Homegrown Vegetables to Area Hungry
WARMINSTER, PA - How does your garden grow? If you pose that question to some residents of the Ann's Choice active adult community they are likely to tell you very good. And it also it grows good feelings of benevolence.
Resident members of the Ann's Choice Garden Club, including Betty Sykes, Ruth Kurtz and Nick Roman are avid planters, caretakers and harvesters and they derive pleasure from working in the Ann's Choice Community Garden.
This year, the group of caring cultivators developed a program this growing season where they will grow vegetables, including peppers and tomatoes, which they will give to the Warminster Heights Food Cupboard, which will then feed its clients.
Mrs. Sykes, who has been growing flowers and vegetables since the age of eight said that this project is a synthesis of passion and doing what's right.
"I think I have a fortunate life and as one who loves gardening, especially at Ann's Choice, I keep in mind those who are less fortunate and think that some of the food I grow can help them," Mrs. Sykes said.
"This program is a creative way for residents to not only delve into an enthusiastic hobby, but it also helps find a way to provide a little healthy produce for the local men, women and children one vegetable at a time," said Chris Donati, executive director of Ann's Choice. "Many of our residents are cognizant of the needs of the community and develop various strategies to assist, and this particular endeavor underscores how the Ann's Choice family is committed towards helping those in need."
Ann's Choice has 120 10-foot-by-10-foot garden squares where residents can build their own magical botanical creations. In addition to the 120 squares, the community has six raised garden beds, which make gardening easier on the back.
Some residents choose to grow flowers, others vegetables and then there are those like Mrs. Sykes who cultivates both.
Mrs. Sykes, who grows tomatoes, basil, marigolds, gladiolus and zinnias, said that she and others at Ann's Choice also donate food to the pantry throughout the year, including non-perishable food such as cereal, pasta and canned goods.
This newly established vegetable growing program is only one of many different ways that Ann's Choice residents and staff assist the local community. Some Ann's Choice residents hold an annual food drive for the Bucks County Housing Group, a clothing drive for NGA, Inc., deliver meals to the YWCA who distributes them to the needy, collect towels for animals at pet shelters and much, much more.
More than 2,000 people live at Ann's Choice, an Erickson Living full-service retirement community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle. Erickson Living develops and manages 16 full-service retirement communities that provide worry-free living for America's seniors - the country's fastest-growing population segment. Erickson Living's refundable entrance deposit and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into every community, lead to demonstrated resident benefits. For more information, visit www.ericksonliving.com.