Greenfield man farms to feed those in need

Posted at 9:59 PM, Apr 12, 2018

GREENFIELD, Ind. -- A Greenfield man has turned his passion into growing vegetables into a mission to stamp out hunger in central Indiana.  Jonathon Lawler is April's Jefferson Award recipient.

Jonathon founded Brandywine Creek Farms in Hancock County and runs the place with his wife, Amanda.

"My calling as a man of faith says that I have to do this. My calling as a farmer says that I have to feed people," said Lawler.

Three years ago, a story about hungry families at his son's school sparked an urge in Jonathon to do more.

"He's a man of ideas... so... and he always has been. He's never lacking for vision," said Amanda.

The Lawlers turned their for-profit farm into an organization that donates the majority of its crop.

Healthy foods like tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini, cucumbers and peppers are donated to soup kitchens, food pantries, community centers, and other non-profit agencies helping feed people in central Indiana.

Brandywine Creek Farms has produced more than 980,000 pounds of produce to donate over the last couple of years.

"The idea of taking a significant part of our farm and dedicating it just to feeing people, we knew it would require some sacrifice," said Amanda.

Jonathon is also passing down his craft to younger generations, reaching out to at risk kids, and those who have been in trouble with the law.

"We can take people that need that second chance for whatever reason. They've made mistakes, everyone does. In farming, they have that second chance," said Jonathon.

Brandywine Creek Farms has been giving away the majority of its crop for three years, but only last fall did it officially become a non-profit.

Jonathan and Amanda invested their own personal finances to get their charity farm operation started.

If you know someone making a difference in the community, nominate them for a Jefferson Award by clicking here.