Grow Ohio Valley is receiving $50,000 to help better serve the local community.
Organizers said this money means that thousands of local families will now have access to fresh produce.
A national grant program rewards local community organizations for their efforts supporting, educating, and raising awareness about diabetes and the importance of Health and Wellness.
Grow Ohio Valley applied for this grant through Sun Life Financial and now that they have received the money, it’s helping them expand their programs.
Organizers say this grant will go toward expanding some of their most important initiatives. One of the most exciting expansions is with their Sprout program– which gives local children access to the fresh produce.
Grow OV Director of Operations, Sam Amberg said, “And then we also go into the schools with the truck every year to elementary schools to tell kids kinda where your food comes from. And a new part of it this year is going to be with Wheeling Middle Schools and Ohio County Middle Schools are going to be coming out to our farms for field trips to.”
According to Mark Vergilii of Sun Life Financial their company has been a leading supporter in raising awareness to help prevent diabetes for about five years now.
They have contributed over 17 million dollars globally.
Sun Life Financial Group Market Manager AVP, Mark Vergilii said, “It’s an awesome cause and Grow Ohio Valley is doing wonderful things. We’re excited to be here, we’re excited to be in Wheeling and we’re super excited to help this important cause.”
Danny Swan of GOV said his hope for this grant is to open people’s eyes to this model where they can improve Wheeling’s health metrics by connecting local people to local farms.
Grow OV Executive Director, Danny Swan said, “If we can take if from 50 patients to 500 patients we’re going to start seeing massive improvement in public health, great economic development for local farmers, and huge savings in the health care industry where we are instead of taking people to the ER to fix their problems we are fixing the problems before they begin and improving people’s quality of life.”
Sun Life Financial has had an annual open grant program for the last four years and received over 180 grant submissions that were eliminated down to 40.
Out of that 40 five were selected.
And Grow Ohio Valley was one of the five that were chosen.