May 23, 2024

2024 Health Promotion Mini-Grants Awarded to Cambridge Organizations

The Cambridge Public Health Department is pleased to announce the 2024 recipients of the Health Promotion Mini-Grants Program. This year, the Cambridge in Motion Healthy Eating, Active Living mini-grants and the Youth Mental Health and Wellness mini-grants combined to become the Health Promotion Mini-Grants Program. 

“We are very pleased that we can continue to offer this program,” said Derrick Neal, Chief Public Health Officer. “We trust that these mini-grants will help our nonprofit partners offer new and creative approaches for supporting wellness in our community.” 

The 2024 mini-grant awardees for Healthy Eating, Active Living and their funded projects:

  • Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee will provide chair yoga classes for their Ethiopian elders group and hire an interpreter to ensure that all members can participate. 
  • Soca Fusion will offer complimentary fitness classes to a variety of ages, families, and dance levels that promote body positivity, self-confidence, and moving away from comparing oneself to others.
  • Lesley University, Student Health Services will conduct monthly pop-up cooking demonstrations at one of its three campuses during high-traffic periods to promote healthy cooking and eating to students.
  • Grow to Consume will address food insecurity by increasing access to locally grown organic fruits and vegetables for its member base.
  • Morse School, together with Drum Call, will provide its community a West African dance workshop to encourage students, families, and staff to increase physical activity in a joyful, celebratory setting.
  • On the Rise will host a Day of Joy that will include a healthy lunch, music, dancing, education, and more for those who are without housing. Gathering together for a meal and social connection helps create a sense of belonging that is crucial for this population.
  • East End House will establish an on-site garden, which will play a role in its early childhood education curriculum, in reviving cooking classes for children, and in education on composting and recycling.
  • Cambridge Bike Giveback will purchase equipment to host bike safety training, including using its  indoor facility to offer additional education for young riders, and are also planning an instructional video series for youth served by the organization.
  • Transition House will participate in a summer wellness program that will remind staff to take a well-deserved break, educate on healthy snack options, and encourage movement with a friendly competition.
  • Project Restore Us will pilot a monthly community meal paired with the distribution of culturally relevant ingredients to families with teens at the youth center. Families will receive education on healthy cooking skills and practices at each meal event.

The 2024 mini-grant awardees for Youth Mental Wellness:  

  • MPower will expand their Period Preparation Parties to new school communities within Cambridge. These events help to reduce the stigma around periods – and promote self-care, community support, and a positive relationship to one’s body through puberty and beyond.
  • SHADE is an organization of youth creating a community for teens by teens. This summer, they will be hosting a weekly series of movie nights where teenagers can socialize and destress in a fun environment. Funding will go towards the purchase of a projector.
  • JOYWeavers will add a counselor-in training (CIT) coordinator to their team to provide direct supervision and support for our 8 CITs and any younger counselors in need of additional coaching.
  • Community Art Center will be integrating weekly yoga and mindfulness classes into their regular youth programming.
  • East End House will be hosting a series of local BIPOC artists as part of  their middle school program. The focus will be on how the artists’ art helped them process trauma and supported their mental health. 

The mini-grants are a partnership between the Cambridge Public Health Department and the Hideo Sasaki Foundation, a Boston nonprofit. The grants were awarded through a competitive process and reviewed by representatives from nonprofits, city departments, residents, teens, and staff from the Cambridge Public Health Department. 

To learn more about the Health Promotion Mini-Grants Program, contact Brigitte DeVeau (617-665-3759) at [email protected].