What this farmer, his family, and volunteers, are doing has our admiration and respect! Jonathan Lawler is a typical married, 39 year old father of three, and a very experienced farmer. You can imagine his surprise when his 15 year old son told him, that kids were accessing a food pantry at school because they were going hungry. Jonathan was appalled. He was astonished by the fact that he lived in a farming community, and right in the midst of it people were going hungry. The majority of farms grow corn, soybeans, and wheat, but nothing is available for just picking and eating. The fact that people were suffering from hunger, right in the middle of farm country, made no sense to him. Furthermore, it didn’t sit well with him, and he knew he had to do something about it!
Jonathan examined what he could do personally, which led him to revamp his farm, and start growing food for the needy. He then began reaching out in his community working to get help from local businesses, organizations, and volunteers. He also realized how his farm could be used to help people, and has invited some organizations working with veterans to become involved. It’s a really great idea because gardening has a wonderful therapeutic benefit that would help our veterans. Organizations working with at risk youths are already volunteering on the farm, and benefiting greatly. Lives are being changed for the better!
Jonathan’s goal is to average around 20,000 pounds of produce from each acre. He has found another farmer who has volunteered to contribute land in 2017. He plans to add 40 hogs, 5 cows, and already has 5 turkeys that he hopes will grow to a 50 count by the seasons end.
He plans on providing good, nutritious food, for the soup kitchens, food banks, and those who are food insecure. He wants them to have what they cannot afford to buy in stores. He feels it is a horrible shame, that good nutritious vegetables are more expensive than junk food. Children suffer the most in these cases because they need nutrition to function properly to be able to learn and grow. If a child is hungry no learning is going to happen, and that just sets the kids up for failure, not only in school but later in life!
Jonathan has witnessed first hand people are working 2 or 3 jobs, and they still have to access food banks. Jonathan and us here at FaithReel want to make it clear, this is NOT enabling! These people are working hard, and still cannot afford good food. From my own personal, and professional experience, I have to agree with him! When I worked in Social Work in a food bank, I did the intakes, and I saw the same things as Jonathan has described. People were trying hard, they were not lazy, but were still falling short of being able to adequately provide for their families. In the majority of cases it is not their fault, they are in circumstances beyond their control. Many people have to make the hard choice every month, do they pay their rent, or feed the kids. In order to keep a roof over their heads, people choose to pay the rent, and are then forced to access their local food bank. Too many people are food insecure, which is a basic human right. These people need a helping hand so they can improve their lives, and move forward. They deserve our compassion, not judgement!
If anyone is interested in donating financially, a portion of their land, or wants to volunteer for this great project, please go to the website for more information at BrandyWineCreekFarms.org or you can access their Gofundme page HERE. This is a wonderful cause, and Jonathan can use all the help he can get! Cheques can be made out to Project 23:22 and mailed to 5332 North 400 East, Greenfield, Indiana 46140.
We here at FaithReel.com fully support the truly humanitarian efforts Jonathan, his family, and his dedicated volunteers, are doing for the needy in this project. We wanted to shine a light on this worthwhile cause, and are happy to see people rolling up their sleeves, and aggressively doing something to help others. This is God’s work, and your efforts are helping to make this world a better place. Well done Jonathan!