Got veggies

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Timmy Baynes, executive director of the Mid-East Commission, has his suspicions of what is standing in the way of some Beaufort County residents eating healthier.
“I think there are areas in the county that have transportation problems,” he said.
For those who depend on public transportation, they are more likely to find a fast food restaurant or convenience store in walking distance of them than a grocery store or farmer’s market.
It might be hard for some to believe that a rural county like Beaufort could have residents who do not have enough access to fresh fruits and vegetables. But, it is a problem that the Mid-East Commission and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association hope to solve.
To that end, the organizations will hold a series of community meetings in August where volunteers will solicit ideas and opinions. Baynes hopes to learn of other issues standing in the way of a healthier county at the eight meetings scheduled Aug. 12, 15, 19 and 22. They will also ask those who attend to complete a survey.
A steering committee consisting of farmers as well as representatives from the health department and the community at large will use the findings of the survey and upcoming meetings to create an action plan.
This community is always willing to help feed those in need, whether it is at Eagle’s Wings or the Zion Shelter. Now, it is time to be generous with your time and ideas. Backed by a $25,000 Kate B. Reynolds Foundation grant, this project could affect a lot of lives.
The first two meetings will be at the Aurora Community Center, 442 Third Street, Aug. 12. The Aug. 15 meetings will be at the Boyette Civic Center, 257 West Pungo Street, in Belhaven.
The Chocowinity Fire Department, 512 N.C. Highway 33, will have meetings on Aug. 19. The final two meetings will be Aug. 22 at the Beaufort Cooperative Extension Auditorium, 155-A Airport Road, Washington.
The meetings will start at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day.
For more information, contact Jared Cates at or 828-719-0143.