Be Healthy Announces Year Three Partners

No one demonstrates West Virginian resilience better than our project partners. 

Over the last two years, our team at Be Wild. Be Wonderful. Be Healthy. has had the privilege of working with communities in McDowell and Clay Counties to identify existing gaps in food access and physical activity opportunities to create long-term change. Since it was founded in the fall of 2018, Be Healthy, a cooperative agreement between the CDC and WVU Extension, has collaborated with community organizations, churches, and municipalities to support 30 projects. Each year, we request applications from Clay and McDowell communities addressing healthy food accessibility and increased opportunities for physical activity, and each spring, we fund proposals that address these needs.

At Be Healthy, it’s our mission to link existing community efforts with resources and funding that will enable their outreach to be sustainable long-term. Funded projects may start with an existing outreach that needs additional support, or simply with a vision to resolve a persistent challenge in their region. These projects have made a difference in the communities because they were created by their communities. 

Today, for the third year in our five-year project, we’re eager to announce our Year Three partners in Clay and McDowell Counties! Ranging from community gardening projects to the creation of historic community walking trails, each project identifies a need — and a solution.

Project partners for 2021 include: 

  • Clay County Board of Education
  • Community Care of West Virginia, Inc.
  • Clay Senior and Community Services
  • Clay County Family Resource Network, Inc. 
  • Risen Lord Catholic Church Food Pantry
  • Food and Farm Coalition
  • McDowell Commission on Aging
  • The Community Crossing, Inc.
  • City of Welch Connectivity Plan – Historic Walking Trail


Funded projects for 2021 include:

Clay County Board of Education 

In Clay County, access to safe spaces for physical activity is limited. This project aims to repurpose and revitalize an existing school-owned building in Clay County to create a community recreation center that is safe and suitable for all ages. 

Community Care of West Virginia, Inc.

The Community Care of West Virginia, Inc. aims to further develop the existing walking trail next to the CCWV clinic to make it ADA accessible. Through this project, they will add new assets to the recreational space, including signage, benches, and landscaping. 

Clay Senior and Community Services

In collaboration with low-income senior housing and disability services, the senior center gardening club will plant and maintain flowers for a garden walking path for seniors around downtown Clay. Students with the local high school’s woodshop class will donate their time to create raised garden beds for the project. 

Clay County Family Resource Network, Inc. 

Through this project, the Clay County Family Resource Network, Inc. will construct a community splash pad that families can visit and enjoy for free. The pad will be within walking distance of two low-income housing projects.

Risen Lord Catholic Church Food Pantry

Each week, the Risen Lord Catholic Church Food Pantry hosts distributions that assist more than 300 families and 1,000 students in Clay County. Without access to a covered trailer, the pantry’s access is limited to its source, the Mountaineer Food Bank in Braxton County, that delivers foods once monthly. This project will enable the pantry to purchase a covered trailer to transport more food more frequently.


Food and Farm Coalition

Through this project, the Food and Farm Coalition aims to increase access to fresh foods and encourage the redemption of more SNAP and SNAP-Stretch benefits in both Clay and McDowell Counties. SNAP-Stretch doubles SNAP dollars spent on produce and supports West Virginian farmers by promoting locally grown foods when available. 

McDowell County Commission on Aging

The McDowell County Commission on Aging seeks an expansion of their existing senior produce program to reach more seniors in remote communities who may not otherwise have access to fresh foods. Through the use of VISTA volunteers and MCCOA staff, the team will provide weekly produce bags for seniors at its sites in Welch and Bradshaw. 


The Community Crossing, Inc.

In Welch, Be Healthy partnered previously with community members to repurpose unused tennis courts into pickleball courts. This project will help create and sustain a pickleball league in Welch, where residents of all ages can participate.

City of Welch Connectivity Plan 

This project aims to revitalize and reconnect smaller trails around the City of Welch with the primary historic walking trail to enable access to more maintained trail paths and more physical activity opportunities. When complete, the trail will connect the Martha Moore Riverfront Park and the Renaissance Building, making the downtown Welch area more walking-friendly.

For more information about Be Healthy and our Year Three partners, visit our website.