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Salem receives funding for healthy living initiative

Posted by Terri Ogan  May 24, 2013 02:06 PM

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The city of Salem has been awarded a four-year $240,000 grant from Partners HealthCare and North Shore Medical Center to fund the city’s Mass in Motion initiative, which promotes healthy eating and active living.
 
An event celebrating the initiative will take place on Tuesday May 28 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. in the school garden at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School on 1 Frederick St. The event will highlight Mass in Motion Salem's planned efforts for the year ahead. Garden tours by students and refreshments from Life Alive Salem will be available.

Additional Partners HealthCare funding will be utilized for a multimedia awareness campaign through Mass in Motion that is intended to raise awareness of the coalition’s work to help Salem residents eat better and move more.

“School gardens provide a space for students to reconnect to nature around them. Gardens teach students about agriculture and how we nourish ourselves, which leads to healthy eating habits. It also makes a perfect outdoor classroom for the teachers,” said Deborah Jeffers, food services director for Salem Public Schools, in a recent statement. “I think it is great that MIM [Mass in Motion] is supporting this endeavor to have a garden at every school in the city of Salem.”
 
Mass in Motion Salem is focusing on five areas to help increase opportunities for physical activity, as well as healthier foods. These areas are farmers market promotion and expansion, coordination and expansion of school gardens, promotion of the Salem Spins Bike Share program, increasing Safe Routes to School partner schools, and identifying infrastructure barriers to daily physical activity opportunities.

Mass in Motion Salem’s work on school gardens will be the focus of this event with Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, Massachusetts Farm to School, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Partners HealthCare speaking on the topic.
 
“Mass in Motion Salem has already made so many positive contributions to our community,” Driscoll said in a recent statement. “I welcome their continued partnership with the City and our schools and look forward to all that we can accomplish working together to improve the health and wellness of Salem’s residents and children.
 
Launched in 2009 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Mass in Motion is a state-wide obesity prevention initiative that stresses the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.  The program is currently taking place in over 50 other communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Last year, Partners HealthCare support helped to extend the Mass in Motion program to the communities of Revere, Chelsea and Lynn, in addition to Salem.
 
In a recent statement, Robert Norton, President and CEO of North Shore Medical Center, said that keeping communities healthy requires an on-going dedication of local governments, healthcare providers and committed residents.

"North Shore Medical Center is proud to join Partners Health Care in supporting Salem's Mass In Motion health initiative and to be part of a community that works so well together," Norton said.

The multimedia campaign to support Mass in Motion in Salem and three other communities can be seen on MBTA buses, subway stations, and commuter rail trains, as well as local news sites and at the Showcase Theatre in Revere. Residents can also view the locations for the campaign bus shelter posters in Salem at http://goo.gl/maps/xyKBy.
 
For more information on Mass in Motion Salem, visit the https://www.facebook.com/MassInMotionSalem">Facebook page. For more information on Mass in Motion, visit its http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/wellness/healthy-living/mass-in-motion-english.html">website.

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