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WA Projects Receive AARP Grants to Make Communities More Livable

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The Olympia-based group Garden-Raised Bounty or "GRuB" has built more than 3,000 backyard gardens since 1993. (GRuB)
The Olympia-based group Garden-Raised Bounty or "GRuB" has built more than 3,000 backyard gardens since 1993. (GRuB)
August 21, 2020

SPOKANE, Wash. -- AARP has awarded Community Challenge grants to four projects in Washington state.

The grants go to projects that make communities more livable for people of all ages - and that can be turned around quickly.

Among the winners is the Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners, which has been helping lower-income residents and families in Spokane County since 1966. Cameryn Flynn, transportation services coordinator with SNAP, said the grant will support its transportation service.

"Neighbors on the Go is volunteer drivers taking seniors and/or persons living with disabilities to and from medical-related appointments," said Flynn.

Flynn said the organization helped about 700 people with 2,100 rides last year. Nationwide, AARP chose 184 projects and is distributing $2.4 million.

Another grant recipient is Garden-Raised Bounty or "GRuB," in Olympia. This organization has built more than 3,000 backyard gardens in the lower Puget Sound region since 1993.

Sadie Gilliom, grants coordinator with GRuB, said the AARP grant will help them build about 20 gardens for older adult communities - which is even more important this year, as the pandemic is causing some people to go hungry.

"The gardens increase food security at home and can provide hundreds of meals annually, increasing long-term resiliency and well-being," said Gilliom. "In addition, gardens allow people to connect with physically distant family and friends through learning together, sharing photos and garden recipes."

She said people can apply for a garden on GRuB's website.

Other recipients of Community Challenge grants include Seattle's International Community Health Services, to help people use telehealth services in their own languages, and the Puyallup Area Aging in Community Committee, to create an elder-friendly business program.

Disclosure: AARP Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA