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Grassroots Funding to Address Health Disparities

Grassroots funding 2022 with images of grassroots activities, dancing, yoga, bicyling,

Now Accepting Applications for our 2023 Health Equity Grants!

More than half of all deaths in Mecklenburg County are due to chronic disease conditions. Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners approved funding for grassroots community initiatives in Mecklenburg County that benefit communities through a shared sense of collective action to create health change.    

Community organizations applied for the grassroots funding for small-scale programming and capacity-building resources. Twelve awardees were chosen to initiate new programs or increase sustainability from last year's initial programs. These organizations addressed chronic disease prevention and/or management in communities experiencing health disparities in Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) Priority Areas. These areas are linked with higher rates of chronic diseases, infectious diseases, and deaths related to these conditions. 

The 12 awardees focused on projects that expand access to physical activity, encourage healthy eating, and offer multiple opportunities to monitor and boost physical and mental wellness among their clients, customers, and stakeholders. The awardees moved quickly and decisively to implement their plans and utilize the funding during the spring and summer. More than 5,550 residents have greater opportunities to pursue healthier lifestyles, and our partner organizations have enacted 23 changes that impact their policies, systems, or environments that make it easier for clients and stakeholders to make healthy choices.


What are Health Disparities?

Health disparities are preventable differences in disease, injury, and opportunities to achieve good health. Race or ethnicity, sex, age, disability, socioeconomic status, location, and other factors contribute to a person's ability to avoid chronic disease and stay healthy.

Our 2022 Grassroots Awardees

Anuvia Prevention and Recovery Center logo with tree

Anuvia Prevention and Recovery Center

Funding supported yoga instruction and the purchase of 158 wellness journals for individuals to engage in meditative journaling. These mind-body approaches have been shown to support substance use recovery and relapse prevention.

Arthritis Services Uplifting the community since 1977 logo

Arthritis Patient Services

Funding supported the certification of 10 instructors for GERI-FIT and FIT & STRONG, evidence-based fitness programs for older adults. In addition, tablets were purchased so that individuals could maintain connections with families enrolled in Arthritis Services programming.

jusculture logo

Gryphon Group Advisory and Consulting, LLC

Funding supported jusHEALTH, a 3-day Afrofuturist symposium, and pop-up events centering on complete well-being care. The program engaged 479 individuals in mindfulness sessions, Kemetic yoga classes, free blood pressure and diabetes screenings, and other varying health practices.

Harmony Health logo with puzzle pieces and silhouette of a women

Harmony Health

Funding supported Pat's Promise: The Mind-Body-Health Initiative. This initiative included virtual cooking classes, yoga and dance activities, and a tobacco recovery group for 277 individuals accessing mental health services.

Harvesting Humanity log with hand in heart shape and wheat

Harvesting Humanity, LLC

Funding supported the development of Cultivating Healthy Eating and Living (H.E.A.L.I.N.G.) Communities, a five-month training program that empowers 10 Grassroots Community Leaders to become better agents of change. These leaders were trained in topics such as yoga and mindfulness, environmental stewardship, nutrition, and CPR.

Home 4 Me logo with couple and house


Funding supported LEG Up on LIFE, a mentoring program that prepares 20 young adults in foster care for college, careers, and an overall healthy and financially successful lifestyle. The program's curriculum consisted of weekly mental wellness meetings, fitness challenges, and healthy cooking classes. Participants were also matched with college student mentors. 

Hope Haven logo with house

Hope Haven

Funding supported the purchase of new equipment for their outdoor recreation area, which offers more opportunities for residents to engage in physical activity. In addition, funding was used to support the creation of a resident garden club to serve over 300 residents. 

LHCC Learning Help Centers of Charlotte log with graphic

Learning Help Center of Charlotte

Funding supported Families in Wellness Training, which included weekly physical activity classes, yoga and Zumba classes, and healthy cooking classes for 1466 Latino adults and children. In addition, vital health assessments were conducted biweekly, allowing participants to monitor their progress towards better health.

Life Project logo of multi color pilars

The Life Project

Funding supported food access for 46 individuals living in motels off Sugar Creek Road. This was completed through healthy cooking demonstrations, healthy food distribution, basic health screenings, tobacco information sessions, and nutrition education.

Metrolina Association for the Blind logo, Envision, Empower, Transform

Metrolina Association for the Blind

Funding supported a four-week telehealth series to educate 20 diabetic individuals with vision loss. Participants received a healthy heart kit containing adaptive medical equipment and were involved in diabetes counseling, nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, and yoga classes. In addition, an adaptive medical equipment station was built at Lions Services, serving employees with vision loss.

Trips for Kids Charlotte logo with graphic of bicyclist and mountains
Trips for Kids Charlotte
Funding supported the All Kids Bike program at four Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary schools so that kindergarten and 1st grade students could be trained on how to ride a bicycle. Each school received 24 balance bikes and helmets, pedal conversion kits, and curriculum/training for PE teachers.
Zolingo's Spice for Life logo with tree in circle
Zolingo's Spice for Life
Funding supported tailored nutrition and healthy cooking education sessions, where 160 participants also received fruit and vegetable produce boxes. These sessions were conducted both virtually and live at select farmers markets. 

Mecklenburg County Public Health is grateful to our awardees for their tireless work in encouraging healthy living among those in our community who are most at risk for chronic disease. Stay tuned for more news about FY23 funding opportunities.


View or download an infographic to be shared with your communities and networks.



Allison Nelson, Senior Health Manager, Office of Policy & Prevention, 980-314-9065 or


Mailing Address:

Mecklenburg County Public Health
249 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

Office Location:

Mecklenburg County Public Health
249 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211



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Key Initiatives