Inaugural West Virginia Healthy People Healthy Places communities provide fresh fruits and vegetables to neighbors in need.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebrations intended to take place this spring to honor the seven communities awarded West Virginia Healthy People Healthy Places (WVHPHP) recognition had to be canceled. Given the unprecedented circumstances communities are facing as they rise to meet this health crisis, WVHPHP decided to repurpose funding that would have been used for these celebrations to provide much needed fresh food in these communities.
Together, the seven inaugural WVHPHP communities – Greenbrier, Mingo, and Wirt Counties and the cities of Huntington, Martinsburg, West Hamlin, and Wheeling – have helped provide fresh fruits and vegetables to more than 2,300 West Virginians weekly throughout the summer.
Each community determined the best way to distribute their fresh produce. Several communities partnered with youth groups, some created pop-up markets, and others partnered with food banks, and faith-based organizations who are already meeting this need.
“We felt we needed to honor the important work happening in these communities to improve the health of West Virginians. Our team came together (virtually) and decided redirecting funds to help our WVHPHP honorees feed those in need was the right path to take in this unique time,” said Jessica Wright, Director of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease (HPCD).
West Virginia Healthy People Healthy Places recognizes communities of all sizes around the state who meet key health benchmarks to build healthier places to live, learn, work, eat, and play.
On Friday, June 19, 2020, the West Hamlin Community HOPE CENTER and PARK was assisted by the Lincoln County Wv Go-Getters 4-H and the West Hamlin UMC in giving out in excess of 5,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables to needy citizens of Lincoln County. Approximately 150 families received an estimated 35 lbs of potatoes, red & yellow delicious apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, tomatoes, onions, peppers, celery, iceberg & Roman lettuce, and broccoli.
Communities who are interested in applying for 2021 recognition can pledge by clicking here.
Communities that pledge to apply receive early access to the application, technical assistance from experts, and other support.