Twenty-eight S.C. Counties Awarded Grants to Fight Obesity | Health
Funds from the national Community Transformation Grant were awarded recently to twenty-eight counties in the Palmetto State. Community partners in each county will work together to create healthier communities by increasing options for physical activity and healthy eating. Ultimately, they will work to reduce, if not eliminate, obesity in South Carolina.
The funds are provided through the Healthy South Carolina Initiative (HSCI), and are intended to create healthier communities and to bridge the gaps in health by making community-wide changes that reduce death and disability due to tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and heart disease and stroke. As a partner of HSCI, Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina will support all grant communities that are targeting healthy eating and active living.
“The CDC estimates that nearly one out of two Americans will be obese by 2030,” said Beth Barry, Chairman of Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina. “The purpose of this funding is to prevent this estimate from becoming a reality in our state.”
Many gaps in access to and affordability of healthy food and active living options are found in rural areas. Eleven rural counties were awarded funding, which allows them to address specific needs regarding access and affordability in their communities.
Grant recipients will implement strategies for change that will make the healthy choice the easy choice for people in their communities. Examples of change are: to create safe walking routes, to increase healthy eating and physical activity options in schools, to develop workplace policies for employee health, to support breastfeeding-friendly hospitals and worksites, and to provide other opportunities that positively impact the health habits of people in the communities.
“Success requires action from all of us in the places where we live, learn, work, play and pray,” said Barry. “We are optimistic that the implemented strategies will increase healthy eating and active living opportunities in these communities.”
The twenty-eight counties that received grants are: Aiken, Anderson, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Chester, Chesterfield, Colleton, Darlington, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Spartanburg, Sumter, Williamsburg, and York.
The counties that did not receive funding will have another opportunity to submit an application in fall 2012.