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2019 Healthy Eating and Active Living Mini-Grants Awarded to Cambridge Organizations

May 24, 2019

The Cambridge Public Health Department, through its Cambridge in Motion campaign, has awarded a total of $5,000 in mini-grants to ten local organizations to develop activities that promote healthy eating and active living.
“It is exciting to see so much interest in creating a healthier food and fitness environment in Cambridge and we look forward to seeing each project unfold,” said Dawn Olcott, MS, Manager of Public Health Nutrition Services for the Cambridge Public Health Department. 
Healthy eating and active living is one of the city’s four health priority areas. 
The 2019 mini-grant awardees and their projects are:
  • Cambridge Citywide Senior Center will offer walking tours of different city neighborhoods to increase physical and mental well-being.  Following the walk, participants can learn about “Food as Medicine” from a nutritionist. 
  • Cambridge Emergency Communications Department. Recognizing that emergency communicators have a stressful and sedentary job, the city’s Emergency Communications Department is creating a series of personal challenges to encourage staff to make small changes in their daily routines, such as eating fresh fruit, using under-desk bicycles, and walking more.  
  • Cambridge Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services. To increase awareness that universal free breakfast is now available at all Cambridge Public Schools, the program has launched an awareness campaign with a special breakfast menu, taste tests, and prizes. Parents are being engaged via email, phone, and social media.
  • CASPAR, Inc. (Cambridge And Somerville Programs for Addiction Recovery) will pilot the purchase and distribution of single-serving fruits and vegetables that staff can offer to homeless neighbors on the street and shelter guests when they leave in the morning.   
  • Community Charter School of Cambridge. A "Carrot Day” celebration will be held this fall at the charter school and in Cambridge Public Schools’ Citysprouts school gardens to teach students about the effects of frost on the garden and how it sweetens the taste of carrots.
  • Green Cambridge, Inc. The Hurley Street Neighborhood Farm, a communal neighborhood farming initiative established in 2017, will increase the hours of its new farm coordinator, who will expand educational programming for volunteers and the public. 
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School. Two kindergarten classrooms will purchase and share indoor play equipment, such as balance balls, scooter boards, and hula hoops, to engage children in indoor physical movement. 
  • Nurtury, an early education center on Harvard Street, will build a small gardening space and engage children in garden activities as a way to help foster cognitive, motor, literacy, math, and artistic skills.
  • Title IX Girls Running Club will launch a pilot program in partnership with the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House to make it easier for girls living in the Port neighborhood to participate in the club, where girls learn lifelong mental health skills in a supportive, exercise-oriented team environment.
  • YWCA Cambridge will offer free, 45-minute monthly yoga classes to the public in June, July, and August. The classes will also cover mindfulness, body positivity, and self-care.
The 2019 mini-grants are funded by the Cambridge Public Health Department.  Since 2012, over 45 organizations have been funded for a total of $40,000 to promote healthy eating and active living in Cambridge.
The mini-grant program is a partnership of the Cambridge Public Health Department, the Healthy Children Task Force, the Cambridge Food and Fitness Policy Council, and the City of Cambridge.
For more information, contact Dawn Olcott at the Cambridge Public Health Department, dolcott@challiance.org or 617-665-3809.

Suzy Feinberg, MPH
Public Information Officer

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