Sometimes deadlines push the cart before the horse.
It happened last week with news about a community resource day hosted today by Voices into Action: The Families, Food and Health Project. The USDA-funded initiative of N.C. State, N. C. A&T State and N.C. Cooperative Extension aims to increase access to healthy food and places to exercise in Southeast Raleigh.
One of the highlights was a panel of folks recently awarded mini-grants by the project. But I couldn’t announce each project then because some were pending. A day after press time for Midtown Muse, though, Voices into Action let me know they’d gotten final USDA approval for all 10 Southeast Raleigh mini-grants.
In all, 16 individuals, school, faith communities and organizations applied for the Voices into Action mini-grant of up to $2,000 to implement solutions to Southeast Raleighs food desert status, which took center stage when Kroger closed two stores in January 2012 and left many in the area without a grocery store within a mile of home.
The mini-grant projects mean Southeast Raleigh could replace two Kroger stores with 10 creative, community-based programs aimed at filling the void.
Theyre making it easy for people to live a healthy lifestyle, said Marissa Sheldon, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Voices into Action.
The Rev. Royce Hathcock, executive director for one grantee, Neighbor to Neighbor, looks forward to documenting through social media their plan to build more skate boxes, ramps and rails so skateboarders in the community can get physical with their gifts, talents and abilities — safely.
“We’re trying to create a place for physical activity, but also a safe place for people to just be,” Hathcock said.
Information on 2015 Southeast Raleigh Mini-grants will be available this summer.
The 2014 Southeast Raleigh mini-grants recipients are: