Voices into Action awards four mini-grants in Harnett County

Voices into Action has awarded mini-grants to four local organizations to help expand access to healthy, affordable food and safe places to be active in Harnett County. Voices into Action: The Families, Food, and Health Project — a research and outreach partnership of N.C. State University, N.C. A&T University and N.C. Cooperative Extension — is involved in three North Carolina communities: Lee County, western Harnett County and southeast Raleigh.

The 2013 Harnett County mini-grants are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The four mini-grant recipients are:

Jacob’s Mobile Market
Based out of Erwin, Jacob’s Mobile Market works with several local farmers to bring their produce to farmers’ markets. The market is expanding in the next year to include mobile drop-off points throughout western Harnett County. The mobile market accepts Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Vouchers and the Women, Infants, Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The mobile market would like to expand drop-off points to churches, fire departments, neighborhood community centers, senior centers or other interested partner organizations.

Jacob’s Mobile Market is also expanding its growing space and works with  local FFA chapters to train our next generation of farmers. The plan is that 10 percent of the produce grown by this garden will be donated to the Harnett County Food Pantry.

To find out more, or to schedule a stop at an organization you work with, contact Jody Currin through at jodycurrin@aol.com or 910.897.4566.

Think Smart Outreach Center
Think Smart Outreach Center in Erwin is a 21st-century community learning center, whose mission is to ensure that youth have access to programs that stimulate their development, intellectually, socially, physically, culturally and ethically. Think Smart is starting a new project to involve health education. The center will use grant funds to provide nutrition education classes through Cooperative Extension’s EFNEP program to families of students in Think Smart after-school program. The center is also expanding the physical activity capabilities by providing more activity equipment and Zumba classes.

To find out more about Think Smart and its programs, please contact the main office at 910.814.TSOC or tsoc2005@yahoo.com.

Lillington Star Free Will Baptist Church
Lillington Star Free Will Baptist Church is a faith community serving the Lillington/Shawtown area with a commitment to community outreach and engagement. Lillington Star will use mini-grant funds to offer opportunities for physical activity to the congregation and local residents. The church is purchasing a gaming system with fun physical education games for youth and adults to use to have fun while being active. The church is also purchasing equipment for a small gym-like space that will be free and open to the community and signs for a small walking trail on its property.

For more information on this project, contact Crystal Baker through email crystalbaker1978@yahoo.com or at 910.658.1136.

The Mustard Seed Community Garden at Campbell University
The Mustard Seed Community Garden began in 2012 as a partnership between several groups at Campbell University when word spread that the Harnett County Food Pantry was going to close because it had run out of food. Located on Highway 421 beside campus intramural fields, the garden feeds 200 families a week during harvest time through the Dunn Recruiters for Christ food bank. Campbell’s Campus Ministry applied for grant funds to increase the size and growing capacity of the garden in order to increase donations to the Harnett County Food Pantry and other groups.

For more information on the Mustard Seed Community Garden, please contact Kristina Wolfe via email at klwolfe0415@email.campbell.edu or at 910.616.0929.

Voices into Action thanks all who participated in the review committees and those who applied for grants. Information on 2014 Harnett County Mini-grants will be available this fall. To learn more about Voices into Action, visit the website at: www.voicesintoaction.org.

-K. Rosenbaum

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