Orrville working to stand out

Published 7:15 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018

took my first trip to Orrville last week.

I attended the first Orrville Coalition meeting at the Farmer’s Market.

It was part of a Building Healthy Communities program presented by the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB)’s Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC). They will meet monthly in Orrville, 15 miles away from Selma in Dallas County.

According to last year’s population and housing estimates from www.census.gov, Orrville had a population of 186.

For a city so small, I was impressed by the pride and passion Orrville residents displayed at the Coalition meeting.

They embraced the opportunity Tiffany Osborne and Celita Garcia presented about building a healthy community.

Orrville mayor Louvenia Lumpkin is grateful Orrville was one of six cities chosen by the MHRC.

“Sometimes small communities get left behind,” Lumpkin said. “I’m all about improving the outlook of Orrville.”

 It all starts with eating healthier foods.

To me, the Orrville Farmer’s Market is crucial in this process. It’s fresh fruits and vegetables purchased from area farmers drives the city’s economy. The Farmer’s market is popular with residents.

Orrville Farmer Market owner Judy McKinney supports the MHRC.

“The program is what the Farmer’s Market is all about,” McKinney said. “When you’re talking about healthy eating, it starts here.”

The MHRC is more than just eating healthy. The program also helps communities improve their towns in different areas.  

Orrville residents want their own library, a walking trail, kids’ events and improved security throughout the area.

In my opinion, finding things for the youth to do during the summer tops the list.

Kids certainly need plenty of activities to keep themselves busy until school starts back in August. According to the last Census report, 20 percent of the 105 households in Orrville had kids under the age of 18 living with them.

I admire Orrville residents for trying to make its own mark away from Selma. Like the old adage, “charity begins at home.”

James Jones is the news editor for the Selma Times Journal. He can be reached at james.jones@selmatimesjournal.com.