2019 Healthcare Foundation of Wilson Grant Recipients 

First Missionary Baptist Church, Lucama, has received $5,000 for the initial startup and launch of a health and wellness initiative.  The wellness program will offer educational and instructional guidance to assist children, adolescents and seniors in the church, community and sister churches within the county. The focus of the program will be health education, nutrition, food preparation, exercise and fitness. Grant funds will support community outreach, health seminars, the purchase of equipment for the church, and exercise training.

Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC received $21,850 to support the Kids Cafe Program.  This program provides free meals to children in a safe environment where they can receive help with homework or mentoring from community volunteers. Additionally, Food Bank will provide an after-school pantry at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Wilson. Grant funding will also support nutrition education with cooking demonstrations, taste tests, fresh produce distribution, and nutrition education training for volunteers and community partners.

Love A Sea Turtle (LAST) was awarded $15,000 to support FAN (fitness and nutrition) camp that will engage youth in nutrition education and water-focused activities with experiential and hands-on learning. The camp will be available to all youth at The SPOT. The experience will be a blend of LAST’s innovative FAN club and FoodMASTER (Food Math and Science Teaching Enrichment Resource). Water-focused activities, which build self confidence, will include swim skills, snorkeling and Try Scuba diving and kayaking. Youth will also participate in cycling activities, nutrition scavenger hikes, cooking classes, and a baseline fitness test. The camp will expose youth to experiences while presenting nutrition-based information to improve discussions about dietary issues and will also provide training for student volunteers, leadership development, and community service learning.

Opportunities Industrialization Center of Wilson (OIC) received $59,205 to  conduct support services and free, voluntary testing for high HIV/STD incidence within Wilson County.  Screenings and disease intervention specialists will be available at regular intervals at locations identified by the OIC, including Wilson County Detention Center, Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) Hot Spots, Wilson Housing Authority properties, OIC Wilson home base site, and at OIC county-wide food distribution events where free health screenings are also provided.

United Way of Wilson has been awarded $120,000 to work with local partners to expand AmeriCorps VISTA Service Year Placements to improve the overall health of Wilson residents.  The program focuses on improving services provided to our community while also providing leadership opportunities and career paths for the individuals who serve in these roles. VISTA will recruit members to serve in the four focus areas of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson. VISTA placements will work collaboratively toward health and wellness initiatives in the community such as implementing SNAP payment at the farmer’s market, establishing a centralized community health fair to address health needs in impoverished neighborhoods and expanding fitness opportunities for students after school.

Wilson County Department of Social Services has received $150,000 to support the expansion of Eat Smart Move More in Wilson County.  In collaboration with Wilson County Health Department and Wilson Family YMCA, Wilson County DSS will focus on healthy eating portions as the next phase of the countywide obesity prevention plan. The program includes continued weight-loss challenges with education from a nutritionist, opportunities for physical activity, health-focused lunch and learns, and incentives for participants to meet weight loss goals. The team will partner with after-school programs to reach children and families in order to affect culture change. An emphasis will remain on drinking more water and increasing physical activity as part of the community plan.

Wilson County Health Department has been awarded $150,000 to continue the school-based health centers at Forest Hills Middle School and Beddingfield High School. The schools will share a mid-level provider between both sites and utilize portable telemedicine equipment.   Health education, nutrition, and clinical services will be available at both schools for students and teachers. The school health centers have shown positive outcomes for students and continue to improve opportunities for addressing student health concerns.

Wilson County Health Department received $10,000 to support an initiative that provides long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to uninsured women under the age of 26. Studies have shown the increase in use of long acting contraceptives is a very effective way to prevent pregnancy in young adults. The focus will be on providing LARCs to young, uninsured women who are unable to afford effective birth control. This initiative supports the Healthcare Foundation of Wilson’s goal of adolescent pregnancy prevention.

Wilson County Interfaith Services, Inc. (Hope Station) received $67,300 to provide screening tools to identify clients with addictions at Wilson’s shelters for homeless families and single men.  When needed, substance abuse education, and connections to appropriate services will be provided, including Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous support groups on site at Hope Station. Regular follow-up and case management with clients who have moved into housing through the rapid re-housing program will also be available. A nutrition education and food preparation program will be developed for shelter families, and both shelter and pantry clients will have access to healthy food choices via the Hope Station pantry. When clients leave the family shelter, they will be rewarded with kitchenware to set up their new kitchens if they have participated appropriately in nutrition & healthy cooking/eating opportunities.

Wilson County Schools was awarded $7,500 to support the coordination of Motivating Adolescents with Technology to CHOOSE Health (MATCH).   MATCH is a teacher-developed interdisciplinary approach to student wellness that integrates physical activity, nutrition, and technology education. The MATCH intervention is embedded within National Curriculum Standards of the core content, including Healthful Living, Science, Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies, and delivered to 7th grade students using a combined educational-behavioral approach. MATCH follows an intentional progression of goals, lessons, and activities. Students are influenced by Social Cognitive Theory, Self Determination Theory and, the Socio-Ecologic Model.

Wilson Parks and Recreation received $15,000 to expand an exercise program for the intellectually disabled and provide outreach to school age children, teenagers and adults who do not have a place to exercise and are typically unable to participate in school sports. The exercise program will focus on increasing activity for participants by offering four exercise classes each week with a focus on fun activities that increase mobility and will also help in everyday life situations. At the start of the program, participants will weigh in and have the opportunity to have their blood pressure and (BMI) body mass index checked with follow-up checks every three months. Classes will also include a healthy snack and discussions about healthy food choices.

Wilson Youth United (The SPOT) has been awarded $70,000 to provide daily activities and access to healthy meals during school closings, summer, and after school. Access will include transportation to the SPOT for activities and family engagement opportunities.  A summer program will include providing meals and activities to local parks in Wilson County. The SPOT will offer a salad bar option during the summer that uses the fresh, on-site grown vegetables to offer healthy food choices. Triple Play the SPOT Way program will continue to impact childhood obesity through a variety of active programs. The MOVE component for girls ages 11-15 will be enhanced by including an evidence-based adolescent pregnancy prevention program.

Since 2016, Healthcare Foundation of Wilson has invested more than $5 million in responsive grants alone.