Flanner House, a nonprofit supporting residents on the Northwest side of Indianapolis, works to move families from instability to self-reliance.\u00a0\u00a0 But perhaps surprising for many, the organization takes a two generational approach and has done so since it was founded in 1898, says executive director Brandon Cosby.\u00a0 \u201cWe\u2019ve always had a focus on childcare,\u201d Cosby says. \u201cWhen you support the caregivers or parents through employment services, while trying to provide a strong educational foundation for their children, you\u2019re seeing the entire family progress.\u201d Boasting a variety of programs helping families, Flanner House is like the Swiss Army knife of social services. \u201cThere are all these different tools and each one has a separate function, but overall, the total package is what people need,\u201d Cosby says. Recent initiatives like the bodega (Cleo\u2019s Bodega & Cafe) and farm further support families by addressing food injustices. When Cosby first arrived at Flanner House in 2016, the community was the largest food desert in the city. With the help of John Moore, board member and son of Albert Moore (former Director of Agriculture), Cosby turned to the past for inspiration. \u201cIf you look back to the 1910s and 20s, Flanner House had a tremendous agricultural program that even included canning services, because African Americans still could not shop at certain grocery stores,\u201d Cosby says. John Moore helped Cosby \u201cbring the past forward\u201d with the new Flanner farm. The farm works in partnership with Brandywine Creek Farms and is in Watkins Park adjacent to Flanner House. The 2.5 acres of soil proved of high quality, and within the first year of operation, the farm grew 50,000 pounds of food and educated the community\u2019s youth through the newly created FEED program, which stands for Farming, Education, Employment and Distribution.\u00a0 \u201cThrough FEED, we take 16 to 24 year olds who have dropped out, were pushed out, or have been kicked out of high school and re-enroll them in a high-school equivalency program through partnership with Marian University,\u201d Cosby says. \u201cWe also teach them everything about urban agriculture, from cultivation to harvest to distribution.\u201d\u00a0 Students learn a set of skills that are transferable to potential career paths. \u201cThe farm puts the kids in a position of restorative justice \u2014 in a position to feed the neighborhood,\u201d Cosby says. The farm grows only heirloom and heritage varieties. \u201cWhat we are growing tastes like what some of our senior members remember eating,\u201d Cosby says. \u201cThere\u2019s an intergenerational connection forged through the farm.\u201d\u00a0 Cleo's Bodega & Cafe The healthy food is made available through the organization\u2019s bodega. Cosby says this type of smaller grocery store with constantly available goods meets the needs of families who are income constrained. \u201cThe bodega creates a model in which parents can rest comfortably knowing that even with limited means, they have put significantly healthier food in front of their kids that will have the ripple effect of transforming neighborhood health outcomes,\u201d Cosby says. A focus on the needs of the community has always been the aim, says Cosby. Near the farm is the organization\u2019s orchard, and \u201cfolks can just walk by and take what they need,\u201d he says. There are no fences or borders. Obstacles brought on by COVID-19 are lessened through the farm, which helps feed 250 families a week through an emergency distribution program. The bodega, farm and other initiatives (in spring 2021 Flanner House will open the city\u2019s first black-owned bookstore), were built with the neighborhood and immediate community in mind. \u201cBut with the full understanding that anyone can come and be a part of the collective spirit of Flanner House,\u201d says Cosby, who encourages everyone to come stop by.\u00a0 Visit Flanner House and Cleo\u2019s Bodega & Cafe at 2424 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. in Indianapolis. For more info, visit flannerhouse.org.