Impact York County Leaders Share the Coalition’s Community Health Focus

by Elizabeth W. Duda

July 6, 2020 (York County, SC) Eat Smart Move More York County (ESMMYC) welcomed Impact York County (IYC) guest speakers to our June general membership meeting to describe the coalition’s efforts to improve community health and wellness. Most recently, IYC is supporting free summer feeding programs throughout York County in response to our community’s rising need.

IYC formed in 2016 following the Population Health Summit. The coalition received Duke Endowment’s Healthy People Healthy Carolinas grant in 2019. Project coordinator, Shekinah Miller, is ensuring those funds focus on healthy eating, active living, obesity and chronic disease. IYC hosted a “World Café” outreach event earlier this year to ask residents of the Saluda Corridor in Rock Hill what they thought were their greatest health challenges. One highlighted concern was safety. Miller agrees that you can’t go play or exercise in the park if you don’t feel safe outside. While World Cafés were paused due to “social distancing” requirements, IYC plans to resume them when possible. Coalition members will use the findings to help implement an evidence-based model to address community members’ concerns, and replicate that model throughout York County neighborhoods. The goal is to involve residents and create lasting change to help community members improve their health.

While social distancing stopped the World Cafes, it did not stop IYC’s work! IYC was one of several Healthy People Healthy Carolinas grant recipients which recognized that many people cannot feed their families in the current environment. So IYC redirected to support local feeding efforts. IYC worked with ESMMYC, the York County Interagency Coalition, and other coalition partners to connect with local emergency food providers and farmers/distributors. IYC is proud to have given financing to the York School District One to continue operating its bus routes which are feeding a full week of breakfasts and lunches to over 1,600 students weekly. IYC also gave funds to H.O.P.E. Summer Feeding which serves 400-500 kids each weekday. Thanks to IYC connections, the Clover Area Assistance Center is feeding kids in Clover, Historic Paradise Foundation is feeding chidren in the Paradise neighborhood of Fort Mill, and plans are underway to feed kids in the Catawba Nation. On top of the food, IYC is working with partners to provide health and nutrition education information along with the meals.

New co-chairs, David Lisk of York County First Steps, and Sheila Wright of Atrium Health, noted the importance of meeting the needs of our local communities, and making sure that the changes are sustainable. IYC welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with nonprofits, agencies and organizations to create a structure that supports healthy communities.

 For more information on Impact York County, see: