State Funding Healthy Living Initiatives in North Berkshire

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Northern Berkshire Community Coalition will take the local lead for the state Department of Public Health's Mass in Motion Communities initiative.

The state-funded program will provide opportunity for the municipalities of North Adams, Adams and Clarksburg to expand their pursuit of healthy eating and active living among their residents and initiate change at policy, systems and environmental levels.

Mass in Motion, which will be funded through DPH over the next five years, is a set of initiatives to address the overweight and obesity epidemic in the state. The coalition has chosen specific initiatives to target the issues that align with the needs of three communities involved. Mass in Motion will work toward creating conditions that encourage, nurture and promote wellness with particular focus on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.

Mass in Motion will look at implementing and expanding Safe Routes to School, a program that provides safety for children as they walk to school, enabling more children to walk, alleviating congestion at the schools and increasing physical activity in children. It will also focus on implementing the new state nutritional guidelines in schools among the three municipalities. These are just two key examples of the tasks and goals Mass in Motion will meet in Northern Berkshire.

NBCC has hired Amanda Chilson as the project coordinator. Born and raised in North Adams, she looks to utilize the many connections she has built along with creating new partnerships to lead the implementation of Mass in Motion. She will work closely with town and city officials and resident leadership committees, as well as with the Department of Public Health.

"We are excited to bring Mass in Motion into our communities. This important initiative will make a positive impact on the health of our community, will benefit our schools, businesses, and residents by transforming the places where we live, learn, work, and play by encouraging our residents to lead healthier and more active lives," said Chilson.

For further information, contact Chilson at 413-663-7588 or achilson@nbccoalition.org. Follow the progress and accomplishments at www.nbccoalition.org.
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