Wholespire Spartanburg County is a collaboration of partners in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, working to make our county a healthier place to live, work, learn, pray and play.
In 2016, the Spartanburg Childhood Obesity Taskforce became Wholespire Spartanburg County, bringing over 7 years of experience to the new chapter. The focus of the Spartanburg chapter is increasing access to healthy choices and promoting policy, systems, and environmental changes that increase opportunities for healthy eating and active living for all county residents.
Diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues can be prevented and managed when people have access to healthy choices. Access means grocery stores within walking distance and neighborhoods with unbroken and even sidewalks. Also, access means parks with lights and playgrounds with safe equipment. When communities don’t have access to healthy choices, individual health and standards of living are poor.
Through advocacy, communication, and community-based projects, we work through our mission to inspire wellness in all of our communities.
Our Focus Areas
We advocate for increased opportunities for healthy eating and active living in our community. We are implementing this is by supporting Wholespire’s campaigns for complete streets, the fruit and vegetable grant matching program, and the implementation of best practice healthy eating and physical activity standards in out-of-school time settings.
Our coalition exists to leverage resources to prevent and reduce obesity in our community, and everything we do is to achieve that end. We are working to strengthen and increase our community’s capacity to prevent and reduce chronic diseases. We are accomplishing this by thoughtfully convening community partners working in this space, ensuring open communication among the partners, providing time, space, and tools to discuss our current work/areas of focus, as well as how we might approach our future work. In these ways, we are able to support one another and our Wholespire Spartanburg County community-based projects.
When we look at factors like geography, race, and income, we see differences in chronic disease rates across our county. We are aware of the inequities that our systems have created and perpetuated in regards to accessing healthy food and places to be active, and we are working to intentionally address these inequities. By recognizing systemic and institutional inequities, we are reminded that health is intimately tied to race and zip code, sharpening our focus.
To gain a more robust understanding of our progress, we are beginning to focus on Results-Based Accountability, starting with the end in mind. For example, this means sharing a common language, aligning programs and communities, and determining the ends and working backwards toward the means. By asking, “How much did we do?”, “How well did we do it?”, and “Is anyone better off?”, we are able to more effectively link communities and program data.
We work with communities to implement proven and sustainable approaches that lead to increased access to healthy choices for all people.
We want informed influencers and empowered communities who work together to ensure an equitable Spartanburg County, where everyone has access to healthy choices.
We meet virtually five times per year on the fourth Wednesday of the month. All are welcome to attend. Contact us if you’d like to become a member and engage in our work.