Martha’s Vineyard is among 52 cities, towns, and counties throughout the Commonwealth that are part of the MA Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership Program. This program is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The grant provides the county with $60,000 a year for the third year now to create community change promoting healthy, active living. The grant is primarily focused on kids and people in low income category.
The objective of Mass in Motion – MV is to increase opportunities for Island residents to eat better and move more in the places they live, learn, work, and play. Mass in Motion-MV is working locally to implement Safe Routes, Complete Streets, Healthy Dining, Healthy Island School Foods as well as improved WIC/SNAP access to farms and markets, initiatives that will make the healthy choice the easy choice for Island residents (see more details below).
Some of the Mass in Motion-MV initiatives include promoting more biking and walking to school each day, creating safe intersections for crossing, providing access and affordability of produce and locally-grown food to school lunch programs, increasing farm-to-school initiatives, advertising Harvest of the Month, and assisting low-income citizens. Finally, Mass in Motion-MV works with restaurants to ensure healthy options on their menus with focus on kids options.
These are the accomplishments of the grant so far and some more goals of Mass in Motion - MV:
Healthy Foods in Schools
- Completed 10 months of Harvest of the Month promotion in all 7 schools on island.
- Materials archived for 2013-2014 school year for funding of promotional campaign to parents and kids inside and outside school.
- 3 our of 7 Wellness Committees have completed their policies with assistance from MiM-MV reps.
- All 7 school on MV participate
- New Snack policies and curriculum in progress
Affordability of Healthy Foods
- Provided all food pantry clients with Island Card for discount shopping
- Coordinated with DTA for inclusion of families and advertising of WIC/SNAP benefits
- Added EBT machine to West Tisbury Farmer’s Market (in addition to Tisbury Farmer’s Market)
- Added MV ALP (Adult Learning Program for ESL) to partnership for the fall semester for additional information on WIC/SNAP and food affordability on MV
- Island Grown Gleaning is advertised by poster each Tuesday at all drop-off sites.
Safe Routes to School/Complete Streets
- Three of the down-island towns conducted very successful Bike to School Days and Bike Rodeos in May or June of 2013.
- A bikeability Survey of the town of Tisbury was completed in May/June and will be presented to the Tisbury Planning Board on August 7, 2013.
- A bikeability survey of the road between the Oak Bluffs School and the Oak Bluffs Library is in process for fall of 2013.
- A Bike Club is being planned for 2013-2014 at the West Tisbury School where biking to and from school is too dangerous.
- Restaurant Week on MV is sponsored by MVOL and will partner with MiM-MV next June to advertise menus.
- MV Patch is surveying its readers to find out which restaurants on MV have the healthiest children’s menues.
- Y Café is changing its menu to eliminate soda, fried foods, and trans-fat this summer with assistance from MiM-MV.
- For more information about this program please visit the Mass in Motion MV website.