ELLERBE — As the Mineral Springs Improvement Council prepares for the upcoming Mayfest, members are planning other events to help keep the community healthy.
The group will be hosting a health forum on April 29 at Snead Grove AME Zion Church to promote healthy eating. Barbara Moton said Amy Forester from FirstHealth will be speaking and she has invited several other Richmond County health professionals to come take part.
One of the main topics, she said, will be diabetes, which was listed as the third-highest cause of death for Richmond County in a recent health assessment.
Moton said the group is also trying to encourage healthier lifestyles for the children who take part in its summer program, which usually begins the next full week after school lets out and runs for six weeks.
During the program, the children are fed breakfast and lunch and engage in reading, recreation and other activities.
Something new for this year is a walking club.
“We realized our kids are not as active as they need to be,” she said.
Another activity that helps promote being healthy is the garden. This year, she said they plan to plant butter beans, string beans, corn, cucumbers, squash and zucchini.
She said last year’s garden “did really good…and some of the kids liked gardening.”
On the day of Mayfest, May 6, the Council is sponsoring a 1-mile walk and 5K race. Registration begins at 8 a.m., the walk starts at 8:30, with the run beginning at 9.
As for the festival itself, now in its fifth year, Moton said the group is still trying to line up arts and crafts vendors.
Money raised from Mayfest goes to support the summer program and a food pantry. Food is given out at the Neighborhood Service Center, 122 Railroad Street, the first and third Tuesday (4 to 6 p.m.) and Saturday (2 to 12 p.m.) of each month.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.