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
Fall River Initiative
Partners employee Dr. David Weed
coordinates the Healthy City Fall River
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.
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.
Partners Worksite Wellness Coordinator Angela Bannister 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.
Bannister at 774-400-4466.
Begun in 2008,
the 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.
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.
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.
Market Support & Veggie Mobiles
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.
volunteers have partnered to develop and maintain community gardens at
the Fall River campus of Bristol
Community College, the Doolan senior apartments, First Congregational
Church, 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
Community Gardens coordinator Nicole
Fortier at 508-679-6841.
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.
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 Eitan
Levine at 508-324-7900.