Martin Wellness Coalition spreads good works through grant funding

By Marj Frew

The Martin Wellness Coalition has been busy bringing good things to the community of Martin. The group has been awarded a variety of grants, including one for the development of the Community Meals.

Once a month, on the last Monday, the coalition helps sponsor a community meal, with the goal of sharing not only a meal, but for sharing time for visiting, as well.

The grant for the funds was provided by the South Dakota Community Foundation. Anita Hicks, with the wellness coalition, reports that the event has been very well received. The first meal served over 100 people, and every month has increased the number served. “I think the meals have been outstanding,” she added.

Funding is provided for rent of the venue, paper goods, and a portion of the  food. The $10,000 grant runs from May of last year to June of 2020.

The most recent dinner served a full house at the Legion, with a lineup the length of the building.

The event is open to anybody who would like to host the meal. The sponsoring group is required to host, prepare, serve, and clean up. They, in turn, receive the monthly fee.

Hicks reported that the group also helps with community dinners that are already in place. They helped with the Legion Auxiliary lunch for Memorial Day, the feed at the Bennett County Fair, and will help with the community Chili Feed during the holiday season.

The group is always searching for ideas for improving their services provided to the community.

A new grant, which will continue the work of the group, was sponsored by WalMart. The coalition is supported by other community events done by other groups, such as some of the improvements at the school, Kids in the Kitchen, and some of the summer gardens. Hicks explained that the coalition did not provide funding for any of these functions, but received credit for overall community projects. 

The original idea for the dinners came from Tauna Ireland, along with work from Prairey Walkling and Rachel Lindvall, from SDSU Extension, and Badlands RC&D is the fiscal sponsor.

The Wellness Coalition meets on the second Wednesday of each month, at 1:00 p.m., in the Library Community Room. Anyone with interest in health and wellness in the community is invited to attend. The next meeting is scheduled for November 13.

(See p. 3, 11-6-2019 edition for full text)

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