HANDOUT: Funding for Healthy Transportation Options (Mass in Motion)

HANDOUT: Funding for Healthy Transportation Options (Mass in Motion)

This is an informational handout that was part of the 2014 Bike/Walk Summit presented by MassBike and WalkBoston.

The Issue – Active transportation plays an essential role in achieving important public health outcomes like lowering obesity rates and reducing chronic disease and health care costs associated with a sedentary lifestyle. More than half of adults and 1 in 4 high school and middle school students in Massachusetts are overweight or obese.*

In recent years, there have been increasing opportunities to use public health funding to support local efforts that improve biking and walking safety, and encourage education and awareness of biking and walking as transportation.

Mass in Motion is a statewide program that promotes active living and healthy eating in the places people live, learn, work and play. MassBike and WalkBoston have both been working alongside Mass in Motion coordinators in the 52 Mass in Motion communities to get more people walking and biking. Please review the enclosed Mass in Motion info sheet for program highlights.

Mass in Motion is funded through a unique partnership among leading health organizations in the Commonwealth, five major health foundations, and, most importantly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Community Transformation Grant Program (CTG), which was defunded by Congress in January 2014. The CTG program was scheduled to continue until September 2016, but instead will end this September. This loss of funding will leave many communities and organizations without the resources to continue working for more active transportation and healthier food options.

The Ask – We need our legislators to know that funding for active living programs like Mass in Motion have real benefits for individuals and communities, and that investing in these programs will save money in the long run by reducing future health care spending. Mass in Motion has already achieved real outcomes that will be jeopardized by a premature end of the program.

We ask that legislators connect with their local Mass in Motion programs to learn what is happening in their communities. Please also consult your legislators for advice about opportunities for state funding to ensure that Mass in Motion can continue beyond September 2014.

*Source: Mass in Motion (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/community-health/mass-in-motion/)

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