Robin Currence and Melody Reid
Through the years, we’ve worked with exceptional individuals who understand local challenges facing their communities, and have the passion and the vision to create opportunities where people can make healthy choices where they live, work, learn, play and pray. We’re recognizing these individuals, who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues, to showcase their commitment to making the healthy choice, the easy choice.
When the grant came down through ESMMSC to begin a chapter in Chester County, Melody Reid knew she needed a co-chair to help with her already busy plate working for the Alcohol and Drug Prevention program. She immediately thought of Robin Currence, who works as a 4-H Program Coordinator, to help with the job. Since 2011, the two have been able to make great strides in building capacity and improving their community as co-chairs.
While Chester County had many single roadside farming stands, they believed everyone could benefit more if they were in one place. Melody and Robin, alongside their coworkers at ESMM Chester County, have been able to unify these roadside farmers to come together in one location with the help of the community transformation grant they received in 2012.
“It really re-enforced that sense of community in Chester for those farmers,” says Melody. “It took about a year and half to get it where it needed to be but then we were able to bring in SNAP and EBT benefits, as well as Senior Vouchers and WIC.”
They’ve also been focusing on active community living, making sure Chester is walkable and safe by making the downtown area more walkable and implementing signage so citizens can more easily find active areas and farmers market locations. The two have completed needs assessments, including walking the community and observing what issues should be addressed, and made improvements like sidewalks, cleaning the area of liter, and ensuring crosswalks are available to citizens.
“We want to see people using Chester and the surrounding areas as a way to get exercise,” says Robin. “It’ll be safe and defined for people. We want to see tobacco-free coalition work and the farmer’s market to continue growing as well.”