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B.C. invests $375K to promote healthy communities

May 27, 2014 – Forty-nine local governments in British Columbia have received B.C. Healthy Community Capacity Building Fund grants ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 to assist with healthy community planning, projects and policy development.


May 27, 2014
By Mari-Len De


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 “Though B.C. is one of the healthiest provinces in Canada, we must
continue to work together at all levels of government to foster
health-minded citizens and communities,” said Health Minister Terry
Lake. “It is important for healthy living to start where we live, work,
learn and play. These grants help support local governments to work
collaboratively within their communities to make lasting change in the
health of British Columbians.”

This round of grants marks
the second year for the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund,
which was first announced in March 2013. Co-ordinated by the BC Healthy
Communities Society’s PlanH progam, 38 local governments received grants
of up to $5,000 and 11 local governments received grants of up to
$20,000 for a total of $375,000 this year. To date, government has
invested $650,000 in the Healthy Community Capacity Building Fund.

“We
know that by leading healthier lives we can dramatically reduce the
occurrence of chronic disease,” said Michelle Stilwell, parliamentary
secretary for Healthy Living. “Whether it is quitting smoking, starting a
new activity that gets you moving or having healthier eating habits, I
believe that the healthier choice needs to be the easier choice and we
are committed to helping communities throughout B.C. to take those
important steps to support their residents.”

This round of grants will help to fund a variety of projects, including:
·      a learning event led by the Snaw-naw-as First Nation community on food sustainability;
·     
adding capacity to the Comox active travel to school program, which
helps children to travel on bike or by foot safely to and from school;
·      welcoming new B.C. residents through the Smithers newcomers recreation and healthy eating accessibility project;
·     
identifying gaps in youth services and expanding the services offered
by the Mission collaborative youth health practices initiative, which
provides meaningful, social and healthy activities for low-income and
marginalized youth; and,
·      creating a long-term wellness strategy for the community of Wells.

“We
are proud of our partnership with government to promote healthier
communities and increase local government capacity,” said Jodi Mucha,
executive director, BC Healthy Communities Society. “These grants
support local governments to work with partners to develop innovative
plans, policies and actions that improve the health and well-being of
the local community. As part of the PlanH program, these grants also
provide a great opportunity for a range of organizations to learn and
work together to improve the health of British Columbians.”

Creating
healthier communities is a key component of Healthy Families BC – the
most extensive health promotion strategy in Canada.


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