$200k for healthy communities

Local governments in British Columbia are being invited to apply for a share of $200,000 set aside by the Province to develop grassroots policies that help residents lead healthier lives.

As part of the Healthy Families BC strategy, the BC Healthy Communities Society will distribute grants up to a cumulative maximum of $5,000 to eligible local governments. Applications will be reviewed regularly up until June 30, 2013, and all activities funded through this program must take place before March 31, 2014.

Local governments can apply for grants to fund a number of activities such as hosting or participating in forums, workshops, dialogues and other learning events. These grants also will support building local leadership and partnerships between sectors to assist with local planning, policies and action to create healthier communities.

"These grants are funding changes at a grassroots level among local communities in British Columbia. Collaboration and sharing knowledge is the one way we can help reduce chronic diseases and obesity," says Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Health.

Creating healthier communities is a key component of the Healthy Families BC strategy that was launched in May 2011. As part of the strategy, provincial health authorities work with interested communities to develop plans to make their city or town healthier.

Planning can take place in such areas as physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco reduction, healthy-built environments and local priority populations. Communities that support healthy living make it easier for all residents, regardless of age or ability, to make healthy choices every day.

"With British Columbia recognized as a Canadian leader in healthy living, this new funding will help local governments to develop new partnerships to address specific needs in their community and cement the province's standing as the healthiest in Canada," says Jodi Mucha, executive director, BC Healthy Communities Society.

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