Healthy City Fall River


School Wellness


Worksite Wellness


Fitness Challenge


Healthy Dining


Healthy Neighborhood Markets


Farmers' Market Support


Community Gardens


Partners for Health & Well Being

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Community Initiatives

Greater Fall River Partners for a Healthier Community has developed a number of community initiatives that seek to improve the quality of health and life among area residents. These initiatives are coordinated by either full- or part-time employees of Partners who work in collaboration with agency professionals and community leaders to realize our vision.

Healthy City Greater Fall River Initiative

Partners employee Dr. David Weed coordinates the Healthy City Greater Fall River initiative, a collaboration between the Fall River Health and Human Services Department and Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc., the local Community Health Network Area (CHNA) organized by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to establish a working partnership between DPH and area residents to improve the health status of all those who live or work in the City of Fall River. For more information, contact Dr. Weed at 508-324-2411.

School Wellness

Partners School Wellness Coordinator, Marcia Picard, whose position is funded through Partners for a Healthier Community, works with the Fall River Public Schools to support wellness activities and policy changes. Working with the administration, the School Committee, school nutrition staff and health and physical education staff, Ms. Picard helps the school move toward a healthier environment for all students. Ms. Picard also coordinates with a wide variety of community resources to ensure that students and their parents can easily access them to lead a healthier lifestyle at home and in the community. For more information, contact Ms. Picard at 774-319-0107.

Worksite Wellness

Partners Worksite Wellness Coordinator Angela Bras works throughout the Greater Fall River Area to support local employers in establishing and maintaining worksite wellness programs and the Southcoast Worksite Health and Wellness Collaborative. Working with a research grant awarded by the Center for Worksite Health in the New England Workplace, Ms. Bannister is recruiting small businesses who cannot support their own worksite wellness program but want to take advantage of local resources to offer their employees health enhancing resources. For more information, contact Ms. Bras at 774-400-4466.

Fitness Challenge

Begun in 2008, the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge attracts over 800 people each year to enroll in programs and fitness centers throughout the city for little or no cost. These programs were designed to help individuals learn to eat well, lose weight, get fit and prevent Type 2 diabetes. A variety of prizes are donated by local businesses to be awarded to the teams and individuals with the highest percentage of weight loss. The Challenge is a way to call attention to already existing programs, to teach and encourage a healthy lifestyle, and to encourage people to change habits that are destructive to their health. Businesses and social groups are challenged to form teams to compete and support one another. For more information, call 508-679-0922.

Healthy Dining

In order to promote healthier nutrition among people who live or work in the City of Fall River, the Healthy City Fall River initiative has established a voluntary designation for food establishments who wish to be known as offering choices of nutritious foods in a healthy environment. This program is modeled after others in Massachusetts and across the nation that seek to improve health by increasing the availability of nutrition information to consumers and by expanding the range of choices offered by food vendors. Voluntary registration applications are sent out each year with food license applications by the Fall River Department of Health and over 30 establishments have signed up.

Healthy Neighborhood Markets

Healthy City Fall River has made it even easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Their new Healthy Neighborhood Market program has surveyed each and every neighborhood market- including corner stores, bakeries and specialized markets- to see who’s got delicious, nutritious food. With the assistance of a website, it is easy to find a healthy market not far from where you live.  Simply type in your street name or zip code in the search box and any markets that match your search will show up on the screen. You can even search for markets that accept food stamps and WIC coupons by typing “SNAP”, “EBT” or “WIC” into search box.

Farmers Market Support & Veggie Mobiles

Three farmer's markets operate in Fall River every year from June to November, one on Wednesday morning at Ruggles Park, one on Thursday morning in Sullivan Square downtown, and one on Saturday mornings at Kennedy Park. In addition, farmers operate "Veggie-mobiles" at some of the senior high rise apartments once a month to ensure that people have access to fresh, locally-grown produce. A Winter Market now runs once a month between October and May. Customers can use WIC Coupons or Senior Farmers' Market Coupons at any of the markets, and Partners pays a clerk to exchange SNAP ("food stamps") benefits for wooden tokens that can be used to purchase items at any of the markets. The University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program often does cooking demonstrations at these locations. Contact Market Manager Annemarie Sharkey for more information at 508-679-0922.

Community Gardens

Groups of volunteers have partnered to develop and maintain community gardens at the Fall River campus of Bristol Community College, the Doolan senior apartments, the Bank Street Tot Lot and other locations throughout Fall River. Some donate food from the garden to local food kitchens and other charities. Anyone with an interest in working on an existing garden or starting a new one is urged to contact Dr. Weed at 508-324-2411.

Greater Fall River Partners for Health and Well Being

The Greater Fall River Coalition for Health and Well Being is an ad hoc group formed in response to the challenges posed by homeless families living in local motels while they await placement in permanent housing. The group is working on providing resources and assistance with accessing  medical care, finding donations of clothing and personal care items, transportation, and options for recreation for the children who are living in very restrictive environments. Anyone with an interest in problem-solving for this at-risk population is welcome to attend our meetings. Contact Wendy Garf-Lipp at 508-324-7900 for the date and time of the next meeting.

MyFallRiver.org

MyFallRiver.org is a website specifically set up for the Fall River community. Information on new activities, a calendar of events, a community resources listing and even a blog spot are available to all community members. Anyone can view the web site at any time. Anyone interested in posting information on the site can do so by signing in and getting a user name and password. From there, individuals and community organizations can post information about upcoming events or newsworthy items. Organizations who chose to become sponsors for only $200 per year will be featured on the web site. Interested organizations should contact SCI AmeriCorps employee Sophie Fierst at 508-324-7900.