West Harnett Community Meeting
May 21, 2012 by
Blog, Events, Harnett County
5.20.2012, Johnsonville, NC
Golden Adventurer’s Senior Center
On May 20, 2012, 27 community members from the Western Harnett area came to Golden Adventurers Senior Center for a community dinner and meeting sponsored by Voices into Action: The Families, Food, and Health Project. The goal of the meeting was to hear about resources in the Johnsonville area for healthy and affordable food and places to be active, and to discuss future projects that the community has an interest in.
The most popular places listed that help families have places to be active or access to healthy or affordable food were:
- Martha’s Place
- Girl and Boy Scouts
- WIC Office
- Backpack Buddies
- Day care centers
Parks were a hot topic at the meeting! Specifically, the group discussed:
- The need for a park near Johnsonville
- The abandoned plans for a park off Ponderosa Rd
- West Harnett Parks and Recreation at West Harnett Middle and High School as a great resource but too far for many residents
- Johnsonville AME Zion’s park
When we talked about places for healthy and affordable food, the group mentioned the following:
- There are two large chain grocery stores nearby and plenty of restaurants, but if you don’t have transportation or money, food can be expensive.
- The cheaper places for food are far away, which is a challenge for Johnsonville residents without resources.
- Solid Rock UMC is starting a large community garden project and creating small garden plots at daycares and afterschool programs
Churches came up as very important places in the community:
- On maps that small groups created, churches came up often as important community resources
- Churches were described as key in getting information out to community members
- Youth groups and scouts provide good places for youth to be active and keep out of trouble
- Churches “take the weight on their shoulders” in the Johnsonville area
Throughout the discussion, the group talked about challenges and barriers to overcome:
- Communication is a big issue: people don’t know what is happening in the community or outside the community. For example, there were people at the meeting who didn’t know about Martha’s Place Food Pantry or that the Golden Adventurer’s Club is a county nutrition site for seniors.
- Police presence is seen as being missing; drugs are a problem in the area that “everyone knows about” but nothing ever gets done.
- Many people mentioned that this area is often ignored by the county or other organizations
- Some people mentioned that people in Johnsonville complain about being ignored, but don’t take the time to be active and express their thoughts at the county commissioner’s meetings.
- There are people without reliable transportation, and the county van is seen as unreliable.
Voices into Action would like to thank everyone present for their participation and input!