A new community-wide wellness project is set to launch this month, creating free opportunities for Hannibal residents to participate in fun events that improve health and well-being.

A new community-wide wellness project is set to launch this month, creating free opportunities for Hannibal residents to participate in fun events that improve health and well-being.

Healthy Hannibal is a project of Cover Missouri, a group of organizations that help people in Missouri get, keep, and use health insurance. The group understands that some people can’t get health insurance or don’t want to get it. The goal of the Healthy Hannibal project is to help everyone stay healthier, with or without health insurance.

Coordinated by Health Literacy Missouri (HLM), a non-profit that works to improve health by making it easier to understand, Healthy Hannibal will hold a series of free events about how to get and stay healthy. The program also will feature activities chosen by local residents, such as starting community gardens or walking clubs, or even hosting workshops about how to use health insurance. These activities will also feature Pirates giveaways and prizes.

“I am excited about how the Healthy Hannibal project will make a positive impact on the health and well-being of those in our community,” says Tom Dugger, Executive Director of Families and Communities Together, Inc. (F.A.C.T.).

In Marion County, 18 percent of people live in poverty. What’s more, 16 percent of people don’t have health insurance. That’s almost 1 in 6 people.

HLM staff visited Hannibal earlier this year to talk to local leaders in the community. They talked to people like Dugger from F.A.C.T. to learn what health problems are common in this area. Then, they used these conversations to plan events that fit the specific needs of our community.

“We are excited to be able to work with organizations in Hannibal and improve their already existing programs, as well as plan new events that are needed in the community,” said Jenna Eichelberger from HLM.

Healthy Hannibal will partner with local organizations including Hannibal Regional Healthcare System and F.A.C.T. HLM staff will work with these organizations to help plan and promote the events.

Cover Missouri is funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The Missouri Foundation for Health funds and organizes projects to help Missourians get and stay healthy.

If you’d like to help with Healthy Hannibal, you can contact Chris Miller at 314-272-2553 or chris@missioncenterl3c.com.