Image collage of United Way volunteers

Healthy Franklin County

Help Everyone in Roanoke Valley Thrive

Your donation helps more people thrive. Thank you for making our community stronger!

Building a Healthier Community


An initiative of over 20 organizations that work together to support healthy food access, improves access to healthcare and connects residents with health and human services. With access to healthy food and information, Franklin County residents are able to make the best possible decisions for themselves and their loved ones.


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Franklin County households are ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, Employed)


Franklin County households live below the federal poverty level


residents in Franklin County live in census-identified “food deserts”

1 in 3

elementary school students are struggling to read at grade level


families in Franklin County are without banking accounts

A Comprehensive Approach to Health

Health is much more than a visit to the doctor’s office; health begins where we live, learn, work, and play. United Way is committed to supporting the underserved and fostering a culture of health. The Healthy Franklin County effort supports children, increases access to healthy food, teaches healthy food habits and improves access to healthcare.

Healthy Franklin County Initiative & Projects:

  • Mental Health Workshop for Pig River Baptist Association with 94 participants

  • National Night Out in partnership with Rocky Mount Police Department had over 600 participants

  • Helped with Day of Action volunteer event at Pigg River Community Day for approximately 800 participants

  • Annual Redwood United Methodist Church Trunk or Treat event where HFC was there to distribute vaccine information and free ice cream, which reached on average 700 people

  • HFC leads a Food Access stakeholder meetings to bring community gardens, schools, food pantries together to support the needs of the community

  • HFC & UWRV with partners from the Police Department and VA Co-Op Extension are working together on a sensory Garden Project in Rocky Mount

  • Food Distribution event on September 22nd at Redwood United Methodist Church

  • Community Asset Mapping: Identify service provisions & gaps and strategic planning to impact gaps

  • Annual Fill The Bus with Franklin County Public Schools & Salvation Army of Franklin County

Community Connections

Community Health Workers, or CHWs, are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of the communities they serve. CHWs play a crucial role in bridging the gaps between healthcare and social service providers and the communities they serve. They contribute significantly to reducing health disparities, improving health outcomes, and fostering community well-being.

United Way of Roanoke Valley employs two Certified CHWs in Franklin County, Lashara Wade and Lucas Tuning. Since July of 2022, Lucas and Lashara have worked with 5,355 individuals and have supported dozens of Franklin County community initiatives & projects. Some of which include:

  • Addressing access to healthy foods by partnering with local emergency food access sites to help distribute and deliver 3,350 food boxes to those in need.

  • Reducing stigma around mental health conditions and around seeking out & receiving mental and behavioral health services.

  • Supporting all levels of education in Franklin County from hosting school supply drives, to systems navigation of 504 & IEPs, to connecting families to local resources so students have a safe and comfortable place to sleep at night, to bringing COVID-19 vaccine clinics and education to colleges.

  • Providing social support & space for behavior/lifestyle changes for individuals that live with Arthritis through a Walk with Ease program. Partnering with Bernard Free Clinic, Rocky Mount and SML YMCAs, Lake Christian Ministries, and the Essig Center. (Started January 2023)

  • Fostering opportunities for social enrichment by bringing the UWRV Day of Action to Franklin County through the Pigg River Community Center Community Fun Day.

  • Participating in research and evaluation of their community’s health priorities through supporting survey distribution and collection efforts with Carilion

  • Addressing needs for individuals that are unhoused by working with local law enforcement to help distribute COVID-19 & Hepatitis A education, participating in the Warming Shelter program, and by connecting them to local shelters and housing resources.

  • Conducting outreach to build & maintain relationships and promote resource coordination/systems navigation services they offer by participating in 20 community events.

CHW Service Area


How We Help

Ready Region West

Virginia's network of nine strong organizations that set a vision and lead their region's progress on early childhood priorities

Giving Garden

A grass-roots project that has expanded to 21 locations mobilizes gardeners to share their excess produce, which is then distributed to community centers, food banks, soup kitchens, and directly to people who need it..

Healthy Food Habits

Education for children between the ages of 2 and 7. Programs teach kids about the healthy food habits that can lead to lifelong wellness.

Food Assistance

Once a month, our most vulnerable neighbors can pick up enough food for two nutritious meals daily for five days, for each household member., providing an important safety net.

Access to Healthcare

High-quality, efficient and comprehensive health care for low-income and uninsured adults is available, including low-cost prescriptions, lab testing, counseling, referrals and specialty care for diabetics.

Transportation for Seniors

Through the Miles 2 Independence program, older adults in Franklin County without access to transportation can receive assistance with non-emergency medical transportation.

Volunteer kneeling and smiling at camera

Students Give Back

Local youth support community gardens

Our Impact


pounds of food harvested


children develop the skills they need for school


households received food boxes

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