Making it Better Initiative Launches in Minneapolis to Spotlight Everyday Heroes Making Their Communities Healthier

The local campaign highlights local residents who are improving the health of their communities through access to healthier foods and physical activity opportunities

Aug 22, 2011, 08:30 ET from City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- How do we make our communities healthier? It happens block-by-block, neighborhood-by-neighborhood: people, communities and businesses working together to foster healthy food and physical activity choices. This important work is helping provide and promote healthy choices where we live, learn, work and play.

"When individuals, organizations and schools come together, they can make a big impact on creating a healthier Minneapolis," said Minneapolis Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant. "When everybody has the opportunity to eat healthy, fresh foods and enjoy places to play and be active, our city flourishes."

Making it Better seeks to bring people together to discover, celebrate and share stories of Minneapolis residents who are working to make their communities healthier by increasing access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities. Several Minneapolis community members are already taking steps to make their schools, neighborhoods and workplaces healthier and are featured in local advertisements and online at

  • The residents of Glendale Townhomes started gardening at community plots, to enjoy fresh new foods while connecting with one another. The multi-cultural, 184-unit community also conducts a weekly mini-farmers market and on-site food shelf to further that connectivity and provide residents with more fresh, healthy foods.
  • Bassem Kabloui, owner of Lowry Food Market in North Minneapolis for the past 20 years, believes fresh fruits and vegetables can be convenient and accessible. By having his produce stand and cooler in front of his store entrance, Kabloui makes it easy for his inner-city store patrons to choose healthy snacks. He also provides education, handing out recipe cards to inspire healthy cooking and meals.
  • Little Earth of United Tribes created its own free bike sharing initiative as part of an overall wellness program to improve fitness and nutrition within the community. The bright pink and black bikes are easily recognizable to avoid theft, and the colors lend themselves to the adult women in the community. Residents can check out a bike for an hour or a whole day to run errands, take a family bike ride or actively explore the city.

Throughout the campaign, Minneapolis residents are invited to share their ideas for making it better where they live, learn, work and play. During the month of October, those that are making changes in their community, schools and worksites are asked to submit their story of how they are making it better for a chance to win prizes and potentially be featured in a new Making it Better advertisement that will debut in January 2012. For more information, visit

Communities Putting Prevention to Work in Minneapolis

Making it Better is made possible by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), a federally-funded initiative that supports policy, systems and environmental changes to reduce obesity, a primary cause of chronic disease. Effectively addressing some of the key behaviors that contribute to obesity – lack of physical activity and poor nutrition – can have a significant impact on the health of a community.

Minneapolis is one of 50 communities nationwide selected to participate in the national CPPW initiative, which is being led locally by the City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health. The Making it Better campaign is being launched concurrently in Minneapolis and Olmsted County.

SOURCE City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support