AARP Announces Challenge Grant Recipients in Tennessee

Posted on 06/29/22

AARP invests in communities across Tennessee through five community organizations as part of nationwide grant program 

Communities across Tennessee are working to become more livable for residents of all ages.

AARP is working in partnership with local leaders, organizations and dedicated residents to help make that vision a reality. As part of that effort, AARP is excited to announce the largest investment of grant dollars to date through the Community Challenge grant program. More than $3.4 million in quick-action grants are being distributed to 260 organizations across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation; public spaces; housing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; civic engagement; and more. This year, with additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its investment in projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.

AARP is also bolstering its support of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis, as well as those that address disparities through permanent or temporary solutions. Many of this year’s projects also include ways to help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

AARP Tennessee is incredibly proud to have five grantees right here in our state. Our goal is to support their efforts to create great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. As local leaders seek to better their communities for the future, this becomes even more critical.

Here in Tennessee, these exciting and diverse projects were funded:

Neighbor 2 Neighbor (Nashville): “Igniting Your Neighborhood Passion” This project addresses the need to improve Civic Engagement in underserved neighborhoods within Nashville. It aims to cultivate leadership skills in residents 50+ to become more engaged in their community. Neighbor 2 Neighbor will host five Lunch & Learn seminars; one in Antioch, Bordeaux, Donelson, Fairgrounds and Madison to empower residents to preserve and improve their neighborhoods.

Cumberland County: Creating an Outdoor Classroom Cumberland County’s project will convert an existing picnic shelter into an outdoor classroom where they and several community organizations will host classes ranging from gardening and health education to fall prevention and adult exercise. This project will increase social inclusion for older residents and interaction with all ages.

Montgomery County: Community Garden The Montgomery County project creates a community garden space in an area that has experienced development without green space or aeras for residents to grow their own food. Once the garden is complete, it will be home to a variety of educational programming, including seed planting, gardening, har vesting and healthy food prep techniques. Montgomery County is a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

City Of Jackson: “Freedges” The City of Jackson will undertake a project to reduce food insecurity among its low-income residents. The project will install two “Freedges” – refrigerators stocked with fresh produce – in areas frequented by older residents. This help alleviate the problem of low-income older residents traveling long distances across the city to acquire fresh produce by creating more convenient access points. Jackson is a member of AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

For The Kingdom, Inc.: “Exodus Marketplace” This organization serves the Raleigh neighborhood of Memphis, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country. The Exodus Marketplace project will provide residents with access to sourced produce, reducing food insecurity in the neighborhood. Additionally, the marketplace will host classes to provide both social inclusion and educational programming for residents.

The Community Challenge is part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and counties across the country to become great places for all residents. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.

To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge both here in Tennessee as well as across the nation, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. You can also view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP Tennessee’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.



This story is provided by AARP Tennessee. Visit the AARP Tennessee page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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