Purdue Extension Lawrence County shares the quarterly report with commissioners

BEDFORD – Lesley Lodmell, Purdue Extension-Lawrence County Extension Director presented the Purdue Extension-Lawrence County quarterly report during the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday morning.

Lesley Lodmell

According to the report:

  • There were 222 client consultations
  • More than 6,590 minutes of education provided
  • More than 77 session programs were held not including 4-H activities.
  • Twenty-three community and coalition meetings were held
  • More than 1438 people participated in programming during the quarter.

Other highlights from the report include:

A GLICK grant continues to provide for residents living at Cambridge Square. Every other month, residents who sign up are able to receive bags containing fresh fruit and produce as well as cheese and dairy products. On months that fresh food is not provided, food is purchased to stock the food pantry at the facility and is distributed to residents. Each resident signed up receives an average of $50 in items.

Food as Medicin Grant collaboration secured by the IU Center for Rural Engagement, the Living Well Lawrence County program has been offered in Lawrence County since May 2022. Each week participants receive a free meal kit with locally sourced food. Extension Wellness Coordinator Annie Eakins and Nutrition Education Program Advisor J.J. Goldsberry worked together to provide nutrition education-focused content to those involved in the program. Weekly education with Health & Human Sciences Educator Grace Thompson began in September.

Collaboration with the Bedford Public Library and the Nutrition Education Program offered the “Just One Bite” program. This fun and interactive program is geared to teach basic nutritional concepts to families while offering children the opportunity to try new foods and make healthy snacks. Families also participate in fun games incorporating physical activity.

“This program allowed little kids to taste new food they may have never seen before,” added Lodmell.

Food, Fun, 4-H showed families how to look for positive ways to stay connected in our ever-changing world. Thanks to the curriculum from Oklahoma 4-H and funding from IU Center for Rural Engagement/I-Hope and a partnership with Lost River Market & Deli, Purdue Extension was able to bring this new program to Lawrence County. This meal kit and education program reached a new audience with 75 percent of the families participating have not been in 4-H before. Twenty-one families with 54 youths picked up their monthly meal kits. Each kit included utensils, detailed instructions and educational material, and groceries to make a meal for a family of up to eight. Each family together prepared the meal and then completed a short survey to become eligible to receive their next kit. Families that completed all four meal kits received a kid-friendly cookbook and a free 4-H enrollment for the 2022-2023 year. Around 94 percent of those participating completed the project.

With the holidays approaching many are trying to find ways to increase their savings. On average, Americans spend more than $1,000 during the holiday months on food, decorations, and gifts. As part of the Living Well in Lawrence County program, Health and Sciences Educator Grace Thompson taught participants how to set up a saving goal, stay on top of their bills and deal with debt. Those participating received a free copy of three workbooks published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a step-by-step guide on how to manage their finances.

“This is information that everyone should hear,” said a participant in the program. “I was relieved to see that others struggle with debt and I really want to make a change in my financial habits.

Purdue Extension is fortunate to have a large number of supportive businesses and agribusinesses and commodity groups in Lawrence County to partner with and provide resources to those in the community with agriculture and natural resource issues. These programs services are hard to put an exact dollar figure on these in terms of value or worth because the results and achievements of the programs often occur over time, not all at once.

Those partnerships include:

  • AppleAcres Inc.
  • Bedford Parks & Recreation Department
  • Farm Credit Services Mid-America
  • Hoosier National Forest
  • Hoosier Uplands
  • Indiana Beef Evaluation Program
  • Indiana Beef Cattle Association
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources
  • Land of Limestone Master Gardeners
  • Lawrence County Cattlemen’s Association
  • Lawrence County Fair Board
  • Lawrence County Farm Bureau
  • Lawrence County Keeping Invasive in CHeck
  • Lawrence County Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Magic Morning Bakery
  • Natural Resouces Conservation Services
  • Premier Ag
  • RTC Communications
  • Springville Feeder Auction
  • Spring Mill Veterinary Services
  • Standish Feed Supply
  • US Forestry Service
  • Walmart