Have you ever heard about a town that was losing its only grocery store? What about a local park that was run down and unsafe? At Wholespire, we help community coalitions identify ways to fix those types of problems so that all community members have a fair chance at taking better care of their health. It’s amazing to see how making one or two small improvements can lead to a healthier and happier community.

    Wholespire has been working to make South Carolina a healthier state since 2007. Our mission is to provide communities with proven and sustainable approaches that lead to increased access to healthy choices for all people. With a focus on increasing access to healthy eating and active living, Wholespire is a leader in creating environments that promote healthy behaviors and prevent chronic disease.

    1. We were formerly known as Eat Smart Move More South Carolina

    While you may not be familiar with Wholespire, you might know us as Eat Smart Move More South Carolina. In 2020, we decided to change our name to better reflect our work.  Wholespire combines the word “whole” with the words “aspire” (what we’re striving for) and “inspire” (what we hope to evoke in people). It’s the state in which a complete and harmonious community is achieved.

    Our new name and look capture our efforts to bring about lasting and healthy change for so many who aspire to wellness but lack access to the key components of health. It’s a refresh on our goal to make whole health a possibility for all South Carolinians as we inform, engage and influence decision-makers to include health in policy decisions.

    1. We are advocates

    What makes us different from other organizations is that we advocate to our state legislators to include health in all policies. You can find us at the state house advocating for free school meals for all SC students, more recess time at school and the Healthy Bucks program. We also support our partners’ initiatives that impact health equity. In addition to advocating to change state-level policies and laws, we equip communities to do the same at the local level. You can learn more about our legislative priorities and the bills we’re watching by visiting our Advocacy Center. You can also become a Wholespire advocate! We make contacting your legislators easy with pre-written email messaging. Sign up to become an advocate for health in your community.

    1. We have annual mini-grants available

    To date, Wholespire has invested over $200,000 in mini-grants across the state. While these grants cannot be used to fund events, programs, or direct education, they can be used to create or improve access to nutritious foods and safe places to be physically active. Examples of mini-grant projects include:

    • A paved walking track at an elementary school
    • Outdoor water bottle refill stations at parks and trails
    • Bilingual signage at a farmers’ market
    • Benches, signage, trash receptacles along trails or walking paths
    • Playground equipment for schools or parks

    For more information, visit our website.

    1. We have 14 county-level Wholespire chapters across the state

    Community change must start with community voice. That’s why Wholespire uses a chapter model to allow communities to lead the change themselves. We provide branding and technical assistance, but each coalition has volunteers made up of people who live and/or work in that county. Each chapter chooses the strategies that make the most sense for their community.

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