McDowell County Kids
Farmers Market Days –
Fruits and vegetables are well known to provide many health benefits, however, not all people are eating enough. As a state, West Virginia ranks #1 in the United States for lack of adequate fruit and vegetable intake. In fact, 9 out of 10 West Virginia adults (1,240,143) suffer from health risk due to limited fruit and vegetable intake. (2011 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey) Those with limited education and income are at the greatest risk.
McDowell County in West Virginia is a community struggling with poverty and poor health outcomes. A once vibrant community supported by a strong coal industry has struggled with a declining coal industry and lack of other economic opportunity. Agriculture in the area is limited due to the mountainous terrain but a handful of dedicated farmers, interested in reviving the agricultural heritage of West Virginia, have recently begun work there.
In the spring of 2014, CSX and the Conservation Fund provided an opportunity to support these burgeoning efforts through their “Increasing Healthy Food Access” grant opportunity. This grant could provide up to $12,000 to support local food access by providing vouchers to children and families to purchase local foods as well as funding to support capacity building for local farmers. Kristin McCartney, a registered dietitian and public health specialist within the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program was identified to lead the effort and submit the grant application for McDowell County.
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