Nourishing North Carolina

— Written By and last updated by Donna Keene

Currituck Cooperative Extension Joins Nourishing North Carolina to

Provide Fresh Produce, Physical Activity for the Community

Communities in Currituck and across the state gain access to fresh produce

 Barco N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has awarded The Currituck Community Garden a grant through Nourishing North Carolina,a statewide community garden effort making local, healthy food more accessible to people across the state. In June 2011, BCBSNC launched the program in partnership with the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA) to create or enhance community gardens in all 100 North Carolina counties.

 “This grant will allow us to install our garden so we can provide fresh, local produce for more people in our community and encourage healthy eating habits,” said Ellen Owens, 4-H Agent with Cooperative Extension. “We are proud to be part of the Nourishing North Carolina network. Our garden will not only provide healthy food, it will also provide a safe area for our neighbors to work together, share a public green space and be physically active through gardening.”

 North Carolinians continue to face serious health issues, and the state’s obesity rates remain at alarming levels. In fact, nearly two-thirds of adults in North Carolina are overweight or obese due to unhealthy eating and physical inactivity, which is above the national average[1]. Community gardens are just one targeted but impactful way to address health issues across North Carolina.

 The Cooperative Extension center planned the community garden project to serve families in Currituck County who are at risk of food insecurity and who lack access to fresh produce. Ten percent of produce grown will be contributed to the Lower Currituck Food Bank to allow other families in need access to fresh produce. Participants will gain skills in gardening, which will help them to provide for their families in the future. In addition, families will be given the opportunity to increase their physical activity as a result of routine garden maintenance.

 “Communities across North Carolina are embracing this initiative and rolling up their sleeves to help North Carolinians eat better and live healthier lives. This is important work that reaches far beyond the growing season,” said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO.

 By 2014, Nourishing North Carolina is expected to ultimately provide North Carolina communities with 190,000 pounds of produce, which will enhance the nutritional value of nearly 150,000 meals. Just in its first year, the program donated more than two tons of produce to food shelter and rescue organizations across the state

Local partners include Currituck DSS, Currituck Parks & Recreation, Albemarle Regional Health Services and Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners.

For a complete list of participating gardens, visit NCRPA’s Nourishing North Carolina webpage at Also, like Nourishing North Carolina on Facebook.

 About BCBSNC:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.6 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 78 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at

 About NCRPA:

Founded in 1944, the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association (NCRPA) is a nonprofit education and advocacy organization, dedicated to the advancement of the park, recreation and leisure professions in our state. NCRPA empowers park and recreation professionals and citizen board members through educational opportunities that enhance their ability to change lives and impact communities on a daily basis for the citizens of North Carolina. For an overview of the programs and services offered by the organization, visit .


[1]North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, 2011