NORTHAMPTON, MA – Mayor David J. Narkewicz today announced that the City of Northampton has received a $50,000 Mass in Motion Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to promote public health regionally through the Healthy Hampshire collaborative.
In announcing the grant, Mayor Narkewicz said “we are pleased to continue to collaborate with Amherst, Belchertown and Williamsburg to promote healthy and active living and improve the health of all our residents, especially the lower income households who often suffer disproportionately.”
Said the Mayor, “This unique four-town effort brings together planning and health functions in our region to build healthier communities.” “This grant will have a big impact by integrating health considerations into municipal decision-making processes. Our communities are making decisions today that will impact people over the next five, 10, 20 years,” said Sarah Bankert, Coordinator of Healthy Hampshire/Mass in Motion. “We want to make sure that we are building communities that support the long-term health of all residents. This means ensuring that everyone is able to obtain healthy, affordable food and have safe and accessible places to get physical activity.”
Bankert, who is also an employee of the Collaborative for Educational Services, the primary vendor for the project, emphasized the importance of this grant. “We want to ensure that communities are doing the most they can to address health inequities that do exist, so that everyone — no matter where they come from or what resources they have — can enjoy a long and healthy life. This grant will provide crucial resources needed to achieve this goal.”
This is the second round of the Mass in Motion grant for Amherst, Belchertown, Northampton and Williamsburg. The first round was coordinated by the Hampshire Council of Governments. This second round will be administered by the Northampton Office of Planning and Sustainability. Wayne Feiden, Director of Planning and Sustainability said “the Hampshire COG did a superb job of coordinating the project.
For the second round, the communities felt that administering the grant ourselves was the best way to build local capacity. Almost every action our communities take affects how healthy a community we are, and whether people can walk, bicycle, and eat healthy food. This grant lets us work together on some of these actions.”
To read the Press Release from the Mayor’s Office, click here.
Community Health Solutions, a service of the Collaborative for Educational Services, has been staffing Healthy Hampshire/MiM since 2011. Sarah Bankert, Healthy Hampshire Coordinator, works with the regional Healthy Hampshire Steering Committee to develop and revise the HH strategic plan, and to carry out identified strategies in Amherst, Northampton, Belchertown and Williamsburg.
To learn more about Community Health Solutions, click here.