West Marion Community Forum

Marion, North Carolina

We are pleased to be chosen to be a part of this amazing initiative. We have strategized and collaborated with members of our county to ensure we have the voices of those most affected and a cross-sector of community and clinical partners who are able to make the shifts needed to address childhood obesity.

Paula Avery, Executive Director, West Marion Community Forum


Marion, NC


Centro Unido Latino-Americano, Community Engagement Project, Equitable Community Strategies, Foothills Food Hub, Mission Hospital McDowell, McDowell Local Food Advisory Council, West Marion Community Forum, YMCA

Issue Area(s)

Healthy Food Access, Active Living, Transportation, Economic Stability


McDowell County is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains with more than 70 percent of the population designated as rural. While positive revitalization efforts and new partnerships have ignited change, historic disinvestment and a decline in the manufacturing industry, among other factors, have resulted in poverty, substance abuse, and high rates of chronic disease.

Using the Community-Centered Health approach, West Marion Community Forum is working with historically excluded residents in three African‐American and Latinx communities to address food insecurity and obesity in children aged 0-5 and their caregivers. Their work is focused on children from families with low-incomes in early child care and pediatric settings. Their collaborative has a mantra – shift happens for the health of our community – that defines their work.

West Marion Community Forum is a member of the second cohort of Community-Centered Health grantees and recently completed their 15-month planning phase.

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