The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have awarded five Community Impact Grants, totaling $125,000, to local non-profit organizations that are implementing heart-healthy, community-based programs aimed at reducing cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and their risk factors.
The recipients for this year’s Community Impact Grants are: Baraka Community Wellness, Boston Medical Center, Fresh Truck, The Food Project, and The Urban Food Initiative. This group of both new and continuing partners will provide invaluable resources and education to help build a sustainable culture of health in communities throughout Greater Boston.
“The Board of Directors of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association is committed to achieving health equity for all members of the community,” said James McGrath, chairman of the Boston board. “We hope that our support of these organizations and their innovative approaches will allow us to form lasting partnerships that improve the health of our communities.”
Today, 24.4 percent of our local population have high blood pressure and about one in three American children and teens is overweight or obese, putting them at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. If current trends continue, today’s kids could be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. It is essential that we, as a community, engage individuals and organizations to build a sustainable culture of health so that our families and children throughout Greater Boston can live healthfully in environments that support healthy behaviors, timely and quality care, and overall well-being.
Each organization will use the grant money to support their individual community programs. Baraka Community Wellness will focus on implementing the American Heart Association’s Check. Change. Control. program, a blood pressure monitoring tool; Boston Medical Center will install and maintain Boston’s first hospital-based rooftop vegetable garden; Fresh Truck will support two of their mobile food market trucks to increase access to healthy food options and nutritional literacy; The Food Project will support a comprehensive, multi-faceted plan for deep-rooted food system change in Lynn; and The Urban Food Initiative will fund programming for their teaching kitchen to increase familiarity with fresh, healthy produce and cooking techniques to enhance wholesome meal preparation at home.
The Greater Boston Division of the American Heart Association has recognized the need to support community-based programs that are working toward our mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In addition, as the American Heart Association focuses its attention on systems change, it will be important to continue to balance our work with programs in the communities we serve. For more information regarding the Community Impact Grant program, please go to BostonCIG.heart.org.