Cedar Rapids – A Healthy Hometown
In January, 2013, the City of Cedar Rapids was named a Blue Zones Demonstration Site and began work to become a Blue Zones Community®. The goal was to encourage citizens of Cedar Rapids to take steps to live happier, healthier, longer lives. In March 2016, Cedar Rapids became the 15th certified Blue Zones Community in the nation. Blue Zones Project Cedar Rapids has inspired countless individuals to take steps toward a better quality of life and create a greater sense of well-being. The City’s contract with The Blue Zones Project ended in February 2018. In order to continue momentum and provide resources to encourage citizens to focus on well-being, the City began using Wellmark’s Healthy Hometown program. Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark is a way to make our community an even better place to live, work and play by using proven tools and techniques that help make the healthy choice the easy choice. Techniques center around ways to eat well, move more and feel better.
Some noteworthy achievements in Cedar Rapids include:
- Farmers’ Market —
- Began accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Payments in 2017. In the first year, $1,300 in SNAP transactions were completed.
- Established a free shuttle to the Farmers’ Market for those who live in an area considered a “food desert.” More than 40 people took advantage of the service in its first year.
- Throughout the Farmers’ Market season, a total of 3,738 pounds of fresh produce was donated to a food rescue program. This equates to 3,115 meals.
- Healthy concessions — Survey results show 65 percent of Cedar Rapids municipal concession patrons want to purchase healthy snacks/food.
- Happier Hour Programming — This weekly event features wellness talks, volunteer fairs, networking and other events with 50 plus attendees.
The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that strives to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. For the past five years, the City of Cedar Rapids has actively worked on well-being initiatives. Cedar Rapids was chosen as a finalist for Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative (HSI) award in the community category. The city was identified for advancing efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of Iowans. Cedar Rapids was also identified as home to some of the most active residents in the country, according to Fitbit’s year in review report. Using data collected from the more than 3.5 million active users, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Iowa City and Waterloo all ranked seventh on the top-10 list for most active cities.
Healthiest State Initiative
Healthy Cedar Rapids Social Media Pages
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