The Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) has been working with many partners over the past year to make central Michigan a healthier place. These partners are working to make healthy foods and physical activity more available in central Michigan. CMDHD began this project in September of 2012 after receiving a $1.6 million Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Work is now being done in restaurants and worksites throughout central Michigan as well. The CMDHD also created advertisements to encourage people to quit using tobacco products through this project.
Nine partners are working on making more healthy foods available to students before, during, and after school in 33 school buildings. Several schools have been able to fund school gardens that provide fresh fruit and vegetables for their snack lines, concession stands, and cafeterias. Head Start centers and senior centers are working on making physical activity a part of everyday routines. Cities and townships are developing plans for creating safe places to walk and bicycle. Northern Transformation, a Michigan Works agency, is creating a more effective way to let people know how to spend more time being physically active for free. More than 50 worksites and 60 restaurants are aiming to improve healthy food and physical activity options as well.
The overall goal of this project is to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, increase the amount of time people spend being physically active, lower the rate of tobacco use, and decrease obesity in children and adults. Every resident in central Michigan could be affected by this project.
“It’s so great to see our partners so excited about making healthy choices more available,” says Heather Cole, CMDHD Program Manager for the Community Transformation Grant Project. “So many kids and adults are going to benefit from this funding. It’s really impressive to see our partners do things that are even bigger than we originally imagined when we applied for the grant,” states Cole. “I can’t wait to see the results at the end of the project” she adds.