MAPC Awards Bedford $8,750 Wellness Grant
This press release was originally prepared by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).
Boston, MA – The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) today awarded the Bedford Youth Task Force (YTF) an $8,750 wellness grant as part of the Middlesex Community Transformation Grant.
The Middlesex Community Transformation Grant, awarded by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a $1.6 million grant designed to help states and communities tackle the root causes of chronic disease. MAPC collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to write the community transformation grant for Middlesex County.
"This grant is an important part of our national and local strategy to reduce health care costs by shifting the focus to prevention," said Congressman John Tierney. "Prevention is a key component of making sure our local families enjoy greater health and longer lives, while promoting health care affordability and supporting a strong health care system in our community and our country."
The Bedford Youth Task Force will use their wellness grant to survey local restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, as well as Bedford residents, to identify opportunities and obstacles to accessing healthy food options. They will then use their findings to develop a proposal for generating policy strategies and establishing programs that allow for efficient and community-wide access to healthy foods.
MAPC distributed six wellness grants totaling $70,000. These grants were awarded to municipalities within Middlesex County that do not currently receive Mass in Motion funding from MDPH. Mass in Motion is a statewide program that aims to promote wellness and to prevent overweight and obesity in Massachusetts, with focus on healthy eating and physical activity at home, at work, and in the community.
The Mass in Motion program and the Community Transformation Grant look to address the issues of smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical activity, with an additional focus is on reducing health disparities among lower–income Americans, racial and ethnic minorities, and other underserved populations that often have higher rates of disease.
In alignment with these goals, the wellness grants will be used to increase the stock of tobacco-free multi unit housing, increase opportunities for physical activity in the community; and increase access to healthy food in the community by September 30, 2012.