Boston Gets Multi-Million Dollar Grant to Fight Obesity in Black, Latino Residents

The $4.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control will be put towards reducing health inequities in communities of color.

Boston received a multi-million dollar grant to improve overall health and reduce obesity and hypertention among black and Latino residents of Boston. 

The $4.6 million grant, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was only awarded to two cities in the entire country, Boston and Los Angeles. The grant allows participation in the three-year REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) program.

Mayor Thomas Menino said Boston was one of the first cities to address health disparities among diverse communities, and that he's "determined to stay at the forefront."

“I’m so proud of the work we’ve done to build strong partnerships to continue to improve the health and wellness of our city,” said Menino.  “It takes leaders from across the community working together to address this challenge, and this new funding will help us continue to ensure that our progress towards a healthier city can be shared by all." 

The Boston REACH project aligns closely with Mayor Menino’s Boston Moves for Health initiative, which encourages residents citywide to get active and maintain a healthy weight. You can find Boston Moves events happening in the South End here

The city will concentrate its primary efforts in Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, East Boston, and Hyde Park, the city will take a four-pronged approach to reduce chronic disease among black and Latino residents. Funding will support a strategy that includes:

  • Expanding bicycling opportunities: Black and Latino residents in Boston are less likely than white residents to use the city’s Hubway bikeshare system or to report that they bike as a means of transportation and recreation. The program will work to increase resident engagement in the city’s bicycling initiatives, in part by providing subsidized Hubway memberships for low-income residents. 
  • Incorporating more physical activity in out-of-school programs: The YMCA of Greater Boston will receive help to design afterschool programs create more opportunities for physical activity. 
  • Increasing outdoor physical activity: Boston Public Health Commission will collaborate police and violence prevention coalitions to ensure that residents feel safe and eager to use the city’s green spaces for recreation and streetscapes for walking.
  • Promoting healthy beverages: The Boston Public Health Commission will work to decrease consumption of sugary drinks and increase tap water availability at faith-based organizations, schools, early childcare and afterschool programs, youth sports leagues and programs, public housing developments, community health centers and neighborhood and social organizations.

Do you think these programs are a good use of the funding? What other obesity-fighting initiatives would you like to see supported in Charlestown? Tell us in the comments. 

billonelm October 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM
what about obese white people? Many of them are also poor and in need of assistance.
Lorelei O'Lott October 17, 2012 at 11:07 PM
That's an awful lot of money. Can they spare a few bucks for us poor fat white folk? Ridiculous! Let's keep these voting these people in!
Larry Fine October 17, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Charlestown Patch Video Battle of the Bands, we put up with this topic for weeks, momths? Charlestown predator is arrested, who is well know, active in the community, and a public official and it comes down. Patch is only concerned about dogs and pizza shops. I think the editor should move back to east longmeadow.
NoTyme4BS October 18, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Us white folks dont matter..But here is an Idea to help them stopp getting fat on american dollars..Go to work and earn your foodstamps!
bostonannie October 18, 2012 at 02:44 PM
There is nothing inappropriate about this statement. The white's are now put into slavery and discriminated against on every turn. Who do you suppose is paying for this useless project. This is as bad as forced busing. We all know that didn't work.
Joseph October 18, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Couldn't agree with you any more Larry!! Child predators are not welcome and should not be welcome in Charlestown. Now, onto the subject at hand. Why is this program just for Blacks and Latinos? This is an outrage! There are plenty of unhealthy white people in Charlestown that could use a lot of help and assistance. Danielle Valle-Fitzgerald - What's up with your boss catering to a select group of people? You live in Charlestown. You see what I'm talking about. I wonder if this has to do with votes more than someone's health.


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