Orange County Insight April 2021

Grant Funds Orange Healthy Community Action Team

By Ashley Jacobs Program Coordinator, Office on Youth

July 1, 2020, the Orange County Office on Youth began receiving funding from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to target youth obesity prevention in Orange County. Out of that grant award, the Orange Healthy Community Action Team was born. The Orange Healthy Community Action Team (Orange HCAT) is a group of like - minded organizations, agencies, businesses, and individuals who share a goal to break barriers to healthy childhoods. The Orange HCAT consists of Darnell ’ s Garden Patch, Love Outreach Food Pantry, Orange County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension (4 - H), Orange County Office on Youth, Orange County Parks and Recreation, UVA Pediatrics at Orange, and community member, Robin Monaco. With a vision to break barriers to healthy childhoods by establishing a visible and impactful collaboration that works together to share messages for accessible healthy opportunities and a physically active community in Orange County, Virginia, HCAT members are ready to hit the ground running with action steps to start their much - needed work in the Orange community. The Orange Healthy Community Action Team has worked together to establish its vision and guidance documents and is now looking forward to offering programs to area youth that enhances access to healthy fresh produce options and affords more active recreational opportunities. Currently, an after - school dance fitness class is being held on Wednesday afternoons. A subsequent session of this program may be offered again pending enrollment requests. An Outdoor Skills Program is also being offered beginning mid - April. This six - session program will focus on awareness, wellness, and stewardship and is being offered for youth ages 8 – 12. The reinstatement of the Michael ’ s Mile Color Fun Run is being discussed, pending COVID - 19 restrictions and limitations allowing for the safe implementation of this event. Further, during prime growing season, fresh produce options will be increased at Love Outreach Food Pantry for distribution to families who utilize this service. Fresh produce will also be made available weekly to Orange County School Aged Childcare sites. An increase in these fresh produce opportunities for area youth is being planned for FY22 and FY23. The Orange County community will see the work of the HCAT expand in the future. Follow the organization ’ s social media pages, Facebook: @OrangeHCAT and Instagram: @OrangeHCAT to stay abreast of the efforts of Orange HCAT. For more information, please contact Ashley Jacobs, HCAT Coordinator, at (540) 672 - 5484 ext. 1 or via email at For more information about the work of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, please visit

HCAT members working toward establishing their vision during a coalition building workshop facilitated by Kim Brown of TurnKey.

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