Organizations across North Texas have received millions of dollars in grants to meet critical needs in their communities.
Texas Health Resources grants are designed to address issues such as food insecurity, professional training assistance, and behavioral health. The United Way of Tarrant County’s Area Agency on Aging received a US $ 525,000 grant for its new Project Empower initiative.
Leah King, President and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County, said the initiative will expand current work in zip codes 76010, 76011 and 76082 to address the underlying issues of health inequalities among people over the age of 18.
“Unfortunately, these neighborhoods have been underserved for far too long in some of these target areas,” said King. “Our research has shown that even before COVID-19 in 2018 and 2019, when we completed our most recent research on these specific areas, it was not just about access to healthy food, but also about access to health care and the Struggled to access transportation to or from a doctor’s appointment or to work. “
Alicia Dodge has lived on Abrams Street for 26 years. It’s a great neighborhood, but it could use improvements that allow better access to healthy food, Dodge said.
“We have Family Dollar, but that’s just stuff you can do in five minutes, of course … but grocery stores, the nearest Kroger we have is in Arkansas. We’ll be back.” It’s a lot of miles, ”she said. “I have a vehicle, but it’s harder for seniors because I’m 70 and most of them are my age here … first generation. So it’s very, very difficult. Because of their physical health, not everyone has a car or knows how to drive or how to drive. “
Hunter Brown lives across the street from Dodge and like them he said he would like to see better fresh food and grocery options nearby.
“There is an ethnic grocery store on the street. You can get emergency supplies, you know … bleach or wasp spray or something, but I can’t do my normal shopping there, “Brown said.
King said better access to healthy food is one of the areas they want the grant and initiative to address.
“We have a partner who has really creative ideas. ‘Gardens on the Go’ and urban farms, so really to bring this ag[riculture] Kind of lifestyle in an urban setting, “she said. “Not only does this help young people understand how they grow their own food, the benefits of it, but the ultimate benefit is that the community can use and consume it.”
Linda Fulmer, executive director of the Healthy Tarrant County Collaboration, said Gardens on the Go has proven successful in other North Texas communities. The concept is to buy fresh produce at wholesale price and then sell the packaged products for $ 5 each.
They are currently working with two churches in Fort Worth to promote bagged goods sales.
“I also do a price comparison for what it would cost to buy the same bag of groceries at Walmart, and we generally find that the groceries at Walmart, which are widely considered inexpensive, would be $ 10-13 . That’s the power of the wholesale discount, ”she explained.
Other community partners involved in Project Empower include the Tarrant County Resource Center for Aging and Disability, the North Central Texas Governing Council, My Health My Resources, Meals On Wheels Inc. of Tarrant County, the Tarrant Area Food Bank, and the Recovery Resource Center.
The initiative runs until December 31, 2022.