Image courtesy of Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach.
The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today that it has received a $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente to strengthen the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Zone Initiative, a program designed to support the health of North Long Beach’s neighborhoods and residents.
“This grant funding will help provide new opportunities for walking and biking along safe routes, buying affordable fresh fruits and vegetables close to home, exercising in parks, and participating in active after-school programs,” stated Mayor Robert Garcia.
HEAL Zones are designed to make healthy choices available to more people in underserved communities, as well as prevent diseases that often result from obesity, such as diabetes and hypertension, according to the DHHS.
"I am proud that the North Long Beach community will be receiving a second phase of support from Kaiser Permanente to support Ninth District neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Rex Richardson in a statement. “For years, the HEAL Zone and the Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach have been a driving force in the Uptown Renaissance, inspiring healthier environments and lifestyles in our community. I look forward to continuing this great progress in the years to come.”
For the past four years, DHHS has partnered with the Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach, involving community leaders, non-profit organizations, the Long Beach Unified School District and other City departments in working to improve healthy practices in neighborhoods, schools and clinics.
For HEAL Zone Phase 2, the DHHS will continue to partner with the coalition to “increase the consumption of healthy foods and beverages, increase physical activity and improve the prevention, treatment and management of obesity and its related conditions,” according to the DHHS.
“Poor nutrition and lack of exercise are key drivers of diabetes, obesity and heart disease,” stated Kelly Colopy, director of DHSS. “Increasing education, access to healthy foods and safe, fun places to exercise makes health easier. It takes all of us working together to make this possible.”
For more information about Kaiser Permanente’s HEAL Zone investment, click here.