Eight local non-profits receive Community Impact Grants to fund heart-healthy programs

Beyond Soccer participants learn how to make a heart-healthy snack to help fuel their play!

Beyond Soccer participants learn how to make a heart-healthy snack to help fuel their play!

The American Heart Association has awarded eight Community Impact Grants totaling$125,000 to local non-profit community groups and organizations for programs aimed at combating childhood obesity and improving family health.

The recipients for this year’s Community Impact Grants are: Playworks – Developmental Sports League, Beyond Soccer – Health Kicks!, Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Teen Heart Health and Wellness Program, East Boston YMCA – Ashley Street Community Wellness Program, Harbor Health Services – Building Blocks of Health, Healthworks Community Fitness – Fitspiration, and Vineyard Community Offerings – North Cambridge Fit. An additional Go Red For Women focused grant was awarded to Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Wellness Department.

“Each of these community groups and organizations share a mutual passion with the American Heart Association in building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and in particular, a dedication to combating childhood obesity and improving family health,” said Penny McGuire, Director of Community Health for the American Heart Association.“ This funding will help provide each recipient with the opportunities to ensure meaningful activities continue and that new, creative projects are developed.”

Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. If current trends continue, today’s kids could be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. Parents and caregivers are essential decision makers when it comes to the nutrition, physical activity and health needs of children. This group of both new and continuing partners will provide invaluable resources and education to the communities most in need in the fight against childhood obesity.

The Greater Boston Division of the American Heart Association has recognized the need to support community-based activities that address our mission to build healthier lives and fight heart disease and stroke. This year’s Community Impact Grants program is made possible through a sponsorship by Santander Bank, N.A., whose funding is helping to ensure that these activities continue and that new, creative projects and partnerships are developed. For more information regarding the Community Impact Grant program, please go to www.heart.org/BostonCIG.

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