Healthy City Fall River
Update - Sept 4, 2009

Click here to see the current progress of the six Fall River community gardens
The Building Our Lives Drug-free (BOLD) Coalition and the Fall River Herald News co-sponsored a mayoral candidates' debate at Bristol Community College on September 3, 2009. BOLD sponsored the debate to provide a forum for citizens to gather information and form an opinion as to which mayoral candidate is best suited to support and enact the policy changes necessary to create a health community for youth. The mission of the BOLD Coalition is to prevent and reduce alcohol and drug abuse among youth by collaborating with the community to initiate policy change, raise awareness, modify social norms, educate youth and adults, and promote healthy activities. Click here for more photos and text describing the debate.
Shoppers at the Ruggles Farmers' Market were able to use food coupons provided by by the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and the Senior Farmers' Market coupon program. Fresh produce is sold every Wednesday morning from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, June 5 to October 30, at Ruggles Park at Pine & Seabury Streets. Seniors were able to use some of the Farmers' Market Coupons that were given out by the Council on Aging several weeks earlier to encourage seniors to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Parents of young children were able to use their coupons as well as enter their name in a raffle for a free basket of fresh vegetables given out each week by the Fall River WIC program at 102 County Street. Click here for more photos and text.  
The City Side/River Side Committee presented its first “Art of Dining Stroll” on the evening of August 27, 2009 in downtown Fall River. Participants purchased $20 tickets for a night of sampling the delicacies of the city’s Restaurant Loop located downtown and by the waterfront while local artists offered samples of  music, dance, and fine arts. The tour started at Government Center and included Bella, Clipper, Cinderella, Gelato House, Mesa 21, Sagres, TA, Trio, and The Water Street Café. Rays Flower Shop  created special arrangements that were on display outside each eatery to highlight the restaurants’ style and to indicate the participating locations. Click here for more photos and text describing the event.  
Teams of young people from nine Fall River neighborhoods gathered at the B.M.C.Durfee High School field to compete in a Summer Olympic style competition on August 25, 2009. Children who have been participating in the summer lunch in the park program run by Community Development Re-creation worked with CD-REC staff to prepare for the competition. Teams from North Park, Lafayette Park, Maplewood Park, Griffin Park, Father Diaferio Village, Abbott Court, Pulaski Park, Kennedy Park and Ruggles Park competed along with a team from the YMCA. Each team had their own team names and shirts and competed for medals in each event. Click here for pictures from last year's Olympic event. Click here more more photos and text.  
Fall River elementary school teachers attended the second Children In Balance training on September 1, 2009, to prepare them to teach children in grades one through three how to eat nutritiously and to play actively. The program was provided by Tufts University, which is replicating its successful Shape Up Somerville childhood obesity prevention project in Fall River during a two-year study. The program uses a holistic approach to influence choices that families make when grocery shopping, dining out and selecting family activities. The program also works closely with the UMass Extension nutrition education program to bring nutrition and fitness education into classrooms. The session included a session on stress management for teaching staff presented by Dr. Alice D. Domar. Click here for more.  
Bristol Community College (BCC) held a kick-off orientation for new students in front of the Jackson Arts Building on September 2, 2009, to introduce students and faculty to campus resources, including the large variety of health and wellness resources, available to them. Providers displayed their services and gave participants a chance to meet and speak with representatives. Resource tables included Building Our Lives Drug-free (BOLD), MassPIRG (Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group), and a table advocating for a smoke-free campus provided by Deborah Hamel and alerting students to the Great American Smoke-Out event on November 19, 2009. Click here for more photos and text describing the event.  
Residents of the Baressi and Bishop Eid Housing Developments were invited to take a special Discover Fall River history tour of Fall River's North End with a stop at the Ruggles Farmers' Market.  Fresh produce is sold every Wednesday morning from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, June 5 to October 30, at Ruggles Park at Pine & Seabury Streets. Seniors were able to use some of the Farmers' Market Coupons that were given out by the Council on Aging several weeks earlier to encourage seniors to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. The tour included a stop at the Oak Grove Cemetery nearby where participants got to see Lizzie Borden's gravesite. Click here for pictures of the Farmers' Market that operates on Saturdays at Kennedy Park. Click here for more photos and text.


Healthy City Design Team
Quarterly Meeting

Thursday, September 17, 2009

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

SSTAR Classroom - 386 Stanley Street

Contact Dr. Weed for more information.



Public Survey

$500 Micro-grants


Healthy City Fall River began in the summer of 2003 with a city-wide survey of over 1,000 people who live or work in the City. The survey asked one simple question: What do you think would make Fall River a healthier place to live and work? The responses to that question, which can still be found on the web site, formed the basis for the five Action Priority Areas that have been the focus of the project ever since. Over 200 separate projects designed to improve citizen health have been formed or identified over the past five years in those Areas and are described on the web site.


Now, five years later, the Healthy City Design Team, is gathering new data from City residents, employees and students. A written survey asks for detailed feedback on each of fifteen goals among the Action Priority Areas as well as ratings of seventeen potential activities and many opportunities to fill in additional suggestions. A written form of the survey is available to anyone who wishes to take part until the end of September. Printed copies are available in the Board of Health office, Room 446, on the fourth floor of Government Center as well as at the main public library at 104 N. Main Street. In addition, copies of the survey form can be found on the Healthy City web site.


Data from the completed surveys will be analyzed this fall and results reported to the Design Team at their December meeting. Anyone with an interest in participating in the project can learn more from the web site or by attending any of the quarterly Design Team meetings. For further information, please contact Dr. Weed at 508-324-2411 or at



Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. and Healthy City Fall River recently announced the availability of micro-grant funding designed to increase the degree of participation by members of diverse populations in community-based projects that address the underlying causes of poor health. Approximately ten grants of up to $500 each will be available to individuals and organizations who wish to address some of the social determinants of ill health among Fall River residents through asset-based community development activities.


Examples of this type of activity include efforts to promote safe and healthy neighborhoods, to improve the local environment, to increase recreational opportunities for youth, to increase community commitment to education, and to enhance community planning and affordable housing opportunities. This year’s application will also seek groups interested in developing and implementing organizational policy changes that promote health. This request invites new participants, especially those from ethnic and linguistic minorities, to submit proposals to address one or more of the five Action Priority Areas identified by the Healthy City Fall River visioning process.


Copies of the one-page Request for Proposals and instructions are available on-line at or in the Health Department on the fourth floor of Government Center until the deadline of September 17th.





Healthy City Fall River Update is sent to over 500 participants in Healthy City Fall River, a partnership between the City of Fall River and Partners for a Healthier Community with a mission to improve the health status of all those who live or work in the City of Fall River. For further information about Healthy City Fall River, go to To see all of the web pages describing Healthy City activities, go to In order to send announcements of Healthy City events or to subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, contact the Coordinator at Agencies: please add this e-mail address or our fax number (508-324-2429) to your standard media notification list so we can cover your event on the Healthy City Update.