Photo provided
Pictured are some of the Sheridan Coalition Committee members attending the December meeting. Seated (L to R): Eva Clark, Connie Pearson and Gloria Del Greco. Standing (L to R): Steve Martin, Mark Heirbrandt, Lizz Bertrand, David Kinkead, Suzanne Lyons, Tammy Murray and Jason Spartz.
Photo provided Pictured are some of the Sheridan Coalition Committee members attending the December meeting. Seated (L to R): Eva Clark, Connie Pearson and Gloria Del Greco. Standing (L to R): Steve Martin, Mark Heirbrandt, Lizz Bertrand, David Kinkead, Suzanne Lyons, Tammy Murray and Jason Spartz.
SHERIDAN – The Sheridan Coalition Committee has become an important part of the community and yet probably most residents have never even heard of it.
One of its major achievements has been to persuade Dollar General to add a fresh foods section to their store to help fill the food void created when Railer’s went out of business.
The Coalition was the brain child of Gloria Del Greco, a NEP Community Wellness Coordinator for the Purdue Extension Service. Her office is in Noblesville. Purdue established the Community Wellness Coordinator positions in December of 2015 to help communities make the healthy choice the easy choice.
When Sheridan lost its grocery store and no longer had easy access to fresh produce, it became a priority community known as a “food desert.”
In partnership with Lisa Samuels, Del Greco created a coalition of community members to address Sheridan’s nutritional needs.
“We started meeting in April of 2016, determining who we should talk to to help the community and then we started conducting community assessments. We conducted assessments with community members-at-large; school sector members; work site sector members; community institutions; and health care sectors. After completing the surveys, the coalition came up with a Community Action Plan and then determined what initiatives the Coalition would like to work on,” said Del Greco.
Del Greco and Samuels have spent the last year and a half working through these initiatives. One of the most exciting and most needed initiatives was the introduction of fresh produce into the Dollar General store on the west edge of town.
When Railer’s IGA discontinued business, the availability of fresh produce and meats in the Sheridan community disappeared.
The Coalition has also sponsored an Active Living Workshop, which inspired more potential initiatives. One of these was the community sign competition which just recently culminated with the award for best sign design being won by Parvin Gillim. The new sign announcing the community’s presence will be constructed along SR 38 as the highway enters the community.
The Coalition has also looked at ways to assist the Sheridan Main Street Committee with more community awareness, including banners Main Street was able to secure for Sheridan.
In addition, community members with transportation issues now have access to senior bus service being brought to Sheridan in partnership with Janus and Shepherd’s Center.
Looking forward to 2018, the Coalition is hoping to be able to get a community garden started wherein community members could be given a small plot to raise their own vegetables.
The past couple of years have seen the Sheridan Coalition Committee accomplish a lot of good things for the community said Steve Martin, Sheridan Public Library director.
“Gloria has taken the leading role for many of the things this community needs to accomplish, and her accomplishments also speak well to the role Purdue Extension Services can play in a community. Gloria does not live here but she has kind of taken on Sheridan as a personal mission in her life and for that many of us are thankful. And we thank Purdue, too, for letting us have her talents to make our community a better place to live,” Martin said.