Edgecombe awards grants


Staff Writer

Monday, December 11, 2017

With Edgecombe County known as one of the least healthy counties in North Carolina, local government officials took the initiative to help local groups and organizations looking to improve health outcomes in the area.

The Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners recently gave away $10,000 in mini-grants to six organizations in an effort to expand and promote recreation. Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans said the commissioners announced the new min-grant program in the summer and approved $10,000 in its fiscal year 2018 budget.

The maximum grant amount given out was $2,000, and officials said the money cannot be used to fund salaries or stipends. Evans said there were 14 organizations that applied for the grants.

“The goal was to try to plant small seeds in organizations that are providing recreational opportunties around the county, primarily in areas that have limited access to recreational activities,” Evans said. “There are so many chronic health issues in our county such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and all these things are risk factors coming from poor eating habits and limited activities in terms of exercising. We’re hoping with our youth that this will plant a seed over their lifetime to be more active and help change the negative health stats in our county.”

The grant recipients consisted of Edgecombe Early College High School that received $1,000 to purchase new equipment for exercise activities. North Edgecombe Little Warriors received $1,500 to help its youth football team, while North Edgecombe High School’s athletics program received $1,500 to purchase an automated external defibrillator, which was something required by the state athletic department and device that is used to treat issues dealing with the heart.

In addition, the Conetoe Family Life Center was given $2,000 to build a walking trail around its community garden, while the Edgecombe Entrepreneur Organization received $2,000 to buy mobile equipment that can be moved around the county. Also, Michael’s Angels Girls Club received $2,000 for money to put together a girl’s tennis program and buy equipment and uniforms.

“We’re hoping in the future to do more, but this is a small amount of money that we think is a start and a great way to invest in these activities going on,” Evans said.