CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) announced a partnership Tuesday with the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA) to launch Nourishing North Carolina, a statewide community garden program making local, healthy food more accessible to people across the state. This initiative supports BCBSNC’s longstanding commitment to improve the health and well-being of all North Carolinians.
“The long-term benefit of this effort will extend well beyond the growing season,” said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO. “By increasing access to healthy foods, we can all eat better, lower rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity, and ultimately reduce the impact that unhealthy lifestyles have on our health care system.”
Nourishing North Carolina will provide resources to create or enhance existing community gardens in all 100 North Carolina counties by the close of 2013. The program is expected to ultimately provide North Carolina communities with 190,000 pounds of fresh produce, enhancing nutritional value to nearly 150,000 meals.
“The obesity rate among our children inNorth Carolinais alarming. And, more than two-thirds of adults in North Carolina are overweight or obese,” said Mack McLeod, NCRPA president. “Nourishing North Carolina gives us an opportunity to address unhealthy eating trends head on by getting healthy foods into our communities and into the hands of citizens. All North Carolinians should have access to a local source of healthy foods.”
Community gardens are increasing in popularity across the state and nation. In addition to providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, community gardens help strengthen community relationships and promote physical activity and education through garden maintenance and neighborhood workdays. Among other benefits, community gardens create protected green space.
The Nourishing NC program accepted applications beginning in April through parks and recreation departments, health departments, cooperative extensions and master gardeners across the state. Applications were reviewed by the program committee, comprised of master gardeners and representatives from organizations including the North Carolina Community Gardner Partners, NCRPA and BCBSNC.
The following community gardens will participate in the 2011 program:
Community Garden of Newland
100 Ashe Street, Newland, NC
Spring Lake Park
250 Pine Road, Boiling Spring Lakes, NC
Leland Community Garden
102 Town Hall Drive, Leland, NC
Black Mountain Recreation Park
17 White Pine Drive, Black Mountain, NC
Buncombe County Sports Park
58 Apac Circle, Asheville, NC
Clay County Schools
154 Yellow Jacket Drive, Hayesville, NC
Cypress Street Gardens
Cypress Street, New Bern, NC
555 West Center Street Ext, Lexington, NC
1 East Main Street,Thomasville, NC
512 Hargrave Street, Lexington, NC
Morehead Hill Neighborhood
1000 South Duke Street, Durham, NC
1303 Dallas Cherryville Highway, Dallas, NC
Oakview Recreation Center/Park
503 James Road, High Point, NC
Village at Northside Park
1712 Kay Street, Greensboro, NC
Mattamuskeet Elementary School
20392 US Highway 264, Swan Quarter, NC
Clayton Community Park
715 Amelia Church Road, Clayton, NC
Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation
807 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd; Kinston, NC
Corpening Memorial YMCA
348 Grace Corpening Drive, Marion, NC
Matthews Community Garden
427 Covenant Church Lane, Matthews NC
Winterfield/Sheffield Community Garden
3100 Winterfield Place, Charlotte, NC
Troy Senior Center
200 Park Road, Troy, NC
4561 County Home Road, Greenville, NC
711 Chestnut Street, Greenville, NC
Sampson Community Center Park
808 Barden Street, Clinton, NC
Mount Airy Fire Department
439 Rockford Street, Mount Airy, NC
The application process for 2012 will open next spring, and applications will be made available on NCRPA’s website, ncrpa.net. For more information follow @BCBSNC on Twitter, visit NCRPA’s Nourishing North Carolina webpage, or find Nourishing North Carolina on Facebook.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 77 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolinathrough support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.
About North Carolina Recreation & Park Association:
Founded in 1944, the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association (NCRPA) is a nonprofit education and advocacy organization, dedicated to the advancement of the park, recreation and leisure professions in our state. NCRPA empowers park and recreation professionals and citizen board members through educational opportunities that enhance their ability to change lives and impact communities on a daily basis for the citizens of North Carolina. For an overview of the programs and services offered by the organization, visit ncrpa.net.