ROCHESTER, Minn. – Jessica Joyce works with the Rochester Downtown Farmers’ Market and says her own grandparents were inspiration for this new program.
“This project does have a personal nature for me,” she said. “My grandma is 92…and my mom takes her to the farmers’ market every week…and I know there are folks here that would do that with their family if they had family to drive them.”
Let’s Go to Market is the next best thing. The new program is a joint effort among Rochester Downtown Farmers’ Market, Family Service Rochester, Channel One Regional Food Bank, and Rochester Area Builders.
The project pairs up volunteers and elderly citizens. The volunteer will not only give a senior a ride to the farmers’ market, but also a companion to explore the market with.
The organizations say it allows seniors to have access to fresh food and the opportunity for social interactions and companionships.
“Any time we see someone walking around the market and experiencing that, community, that's a victory for us,” Joyce said.
As Rochester grows, she said it’s essential to continue caring for the seniors who’ve been here is essential.
“I think it's easy to say Rochester is a town designed for working professionals and young adults but what makes it a community, what makes people want to be here is accessibility for all ages,” she said.
The program will be available Wednesdays at Apache Mall tand at the Saturday downtown market on 4th Street Southeast.
People who would like to volunteer can sign up here.
If a senior or their caregivers would like to request the service, call Family Service Rochester at (507) 287-2010.