FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 28, 2023
The Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging is thrilled to announce that its Central Massachusetts Older Adults Hydroponic Program received a 2023 Aging Innovations Award from USAging, one of the highest honors presented by USAging to its members.
The Central Massachusetts Older Adults Hydroponic Program, which has helped hundreds of older adults have access to food that might otherwise be inaccessible, was among 16 local aging programs to receive Innovations honors during USAging’s 48th Annual Conference and Tradeshow, July 16-19 in Salt Lake City. An additional 34 agencies received Achievement Awards.
The 2023 USAging Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards, supported by Caregiving.com and Cumulus, recognizes USAging’s Area Agency on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging Program members that have found new and innovative ways to support older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers as they live in their homes and communities.
“The Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards are a timely reminder of the evolving role USAging members play in the planning, development, coordination and delivery of aging and other home and community-based services in nearly every community in the United States,” said USAging CEO Sandy Markwood. “The AAAs and Title VI programs we honor today have set a standard for innovation and creativity in helping vulnerable older adults live with independence and dignity in their homes and communities,” Markwood added. “USAging is inspired by the example they have set for others in the Aging Network.”
Pictured: Dr. Moses S. Dixon (left, holding award) poses with USAging and CMAA staff to celebrate the Aging Innovations & Achievement Award
This program stems from a collaboration between the Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, Inc. and 2gether We Eat that expands an innovative hydroponic farming program to senior centers across Central Massachusetts. “It was great to see the enthusiasm from the senior population about growing food. At 2gether We Eat, we like to say we grow people and plants. Teamwork makes the dream work,” said Charles Luster, Executive Director of 2gether We Eat.
The no-cost program improves access to fresh vegetables and herbs, helps participants learn about gardening and nutrition, and facilitates social connection. The program installs, operates and teaches participants hydroponic gardening at local senior centers. Hydroponic gardening can be done indoors, sometimes in very small spaces depending on how the system is set up. It is easy to maintain and accessible for people of all abilities. Produce from the program is also shared with local food banks.
“Everyone should have access to nutritious, culturally competent food. Through this hydroponic program, we’ve shown how collaboration can make a difference in promoting food security, both in Central Massachusetts and beyond,” said Dr. Moses S. Dixon, President & CEO of the Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging (CMAA).
Pictured: Dr. Moses S. Dixon, President & CEO of the Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging
The 2023 USAging Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards honored traditional and new strategies in a range of categories, including Caregiving, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Health-LTSS Integration, Healthy Aging, Home and Community-Based Services, Housing and Homelessness, Nutrition, Public Health and Vaccinations, Social Engagement, Technology and Transportation and Mobility.
All winners are highlighted in the USAging Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards Showcase.
About the Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging (CMAA)
The Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, Inc. (CMAA) is a 501c3 nonprofit agency dedicated to supporting older adults and caregivers facing various challenges across Central Massachusetts. We are the region’s leader in providing information and resources to older adults and caregivers. Our mission is to help folks navigate aging and caregiving through community collaborations and support. Through a range of initiatives, partnerships, and events, we strive to create a nurturing environment where people of all ages can thrive and age well together. To learn more, visit www.seniorconnection.org.
USAging is the national association representing and supporting the network of Area Agencies on Aging and advocating for the Title VI Native American Aging Programs. Our members help older adults and people with disabilities throughout the United States live with optimal health, well-being, independence and dignity in their homes and communities. USAging is dedicated to supporting the success of our members through advancing public policy, sparking innovation, strengthening the capacity of our members, raising their visibility and working to drive excellence in the fields of aging and home and community-based services. For more information about USAging, AAAs or Title VI programs, visit www.usaging.org.
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Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, Inc.