Nine communities awarded grants to support local health-related projects

Eat Smart Move More South Carolina has approved nine grants in its first Let’s Go! 3.0 grant cycle to community coalitions seeking to provide residents with access to local healthy options.

Eat Smart Move More Allendale County is reactivating the Allendale County Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project Team to plan, create, and promote a safe walking path that will allow Town of Allendale residents to access the local grocery store and farmer’s market. Youth will educate and mobilize other youth to become engaged in the pedestrian planning process and to advocate for social changes that are necessary to have the citizens of Allendale County make active living a priority in their lives.

Tri-County Health Network in Orangeburg is partnering with South Carolina State University and the Regional Medical Center to create two self-sustaining, organic community gardens. The gardens will continue the momentum and success of five establish school gardens and fight food deserts. Produce will be given to patients of a local pharmacy and used in the Regional Medical Center’s Diabetes Prevention Program cooking class.

Eat Smart Move More Richland County is revitalizing and enhancing two parks in Columbia – Crane Creek Park and Lorick Park. Fun Fitness Station stencils will be painted on walking tracks, making walking more interactive and fun. Health events will be hosted at the parks to educate neighborhood residents and community centers on the importance of physical activity and to encourage them to use the revitalized parks.

Eat Smart Move More Kershaw County is increasing access to the Kershaw County Farmer’s Market by creating way-finding signage. The market relocated to downtown Camden, and the signage will help residents and visitors find the market.

Eat Smart Move More Barnwell County is building a disc golf course in the Town of Williston. Residents indicated a need for family-friendly physical activity resources in the town. In addition, the Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project Team will make improvements to walking tracks in the towns of Williston and Blackville by cleaning up the areas, painting lines, and landscaping. They will also advocate for an open community policy at the Williston walking track, and clean up the Williston-Elko Middle School playground.

The Alliance Collaborative in Horry County is working with the Horry County School District to adopt and implement the South Carolina School Boards Association’s model policy for open community use. The policy allows community residents to use outdoor playgrounds, tracks, courts and other outdoor recreational facilities located on school property.

Eat Smart Move More Anderson County is working with the Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project Team to continue making Equinox Park in Anderson accessible to all residents, especially those with disabilities and special needs. Youth will help create a play space where all ages and abilities can play, learn, and explore the outdoors together, and interact with one another. The HYPE team will add two interactive sensory play panels installed at an appropriate height for wheelchair accessibility. The panels will be located near the Born Learning Trail and a shelter that will have an inclusive picnic table, grill, a solid paved pad with an access path.

Partners for Active Living in Spartanburg is installing a water bottle refilling station and drinking fountain at the trailhead of the River Birch Trail. The bottle filling station will be located on the edge of Spartanburg School District 7 property and will also serve community members visiting or using nearby athletic fields that are open to the public during non-school hours. The station features a convenient way to grab tap water to go and includes a handicapped-accessible fountain, as well as a ground-level drinking fountain for dogs.

Shady Grove Baptist Church in Greenville is fighting food deserts by expanding and enhancing an existing community garden to provide fresh produce for older members of the church, church members having financial problems, and those in need in the community.

ESMMSC will be awarding more community grants over the next two-and-a-half years to help community coalitions in South Carolina identify and address barriers to healthy eating and active living. In January and July of each year, coalitions will be able to apply for mini-grants to fund small-scale projects. The grants are made possible through funding by The BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina Foundation, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

For more information about the Let’s Go 3.0 initiative, visit To find healthy resources in your community, visit