Over the past three years, six communities participated in the Let’s Go! South Carolina initiative, implementing strategies across multiple sectors to increase access to healthy foods and physical activity. Coalition members from each of the six communities – Anderson, Barnwell, Hampton, Kershaw, Laurens, and York counties – gathered recently to learn about their impact and to celebrate a job well done.
“We are so proud of the impact the Let’s Go! SC project has had over the past three years,” said Beth Franco, executive director of Eat Smart Move More South Carolina. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and leadership from these six coalitions.”
The Let’s Go! SC evaluation team spent a rigorous amount of time collecting data on the community projects to determine impact. The six communities had an impressive collective impact:
- $1.3 million leveraged through grants, donations, and matched funds
- 36,327 students have access to healthier school environments due to partnerships with Alliance for a Healthier Generation
- 24,736 SNAP recipients in three counties now have access to fresh produce at farmers’ markets
- 43,985 people live within a mile of a park or path enhanced by a coalition
- 17 parks, playgrounds, and trails were improved
- 75+ youth were trained through the HYPE project
Evaluators also determined individual community impacts, which can be found here.
“Community work can be hard,” said Hannah Walters, senior project manager at ESMMSC. “Change always takes longer than we want or expect. But, the Let’s Go project has shown us just how rewarding and impactful incremental changes can be in a community. Whether it’s bringing a new partner to the table or getting a new trail installed in your community, we know that success comes in all shapes and sizes.”
The Let’s Go! South Carolina Initiative was funded by the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.