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Farmer who feeds the hungry featured in Culver’s commercial


Jonathan Lawler made headlines in March when he revealed his plans to turn a for-profit farming operation into a mission to feed the hungry.

Now, the Greenfield-area farmer is among Culver's  "Everyday Heroes."

The restaurant chain, with several locations in Central Indiana, put out a call to its customers to nominate those in the community who go above and beyond.

The national FFA, which works with Culver's through its Thank You Farmers program, shared Lawler's story after it appeared in IndyStar in March.

Lawler has revamped his 36-acre farm into a nonprofit operation called Brandywine Creek Farms.

His goal for the first year is to donate 500,000 pounds of food, which he said is realistic based on the farm's capacity and the addition of an army of volunteers to help through the season.

Lawler has joined forces with GleanersMidwest Food BankKenneth Butler Soup Kitchen and other area food banks as distribution partners.

"My awareness of hunger was limited to the homeless in Downtown Indianapolis," the father of three told IndyStar. "The last place I would expect it is in a rural farming community like where I live."

Culver's co-founder Craig Culver was among guests who surprised Lawler at his farm last month to recognize his efforts, treat him to the restaurant's famous Concrete Mixers frozen dessert and give him a starring role in a TV commercial, set to air later this month.

"Jonathan's commitment to feeding his neighbors is a mission worth celebrating and supporting," said David Stidham, vice president of marketing for Culver's.