Minneapolis Residents Invited to Share Their Stories in the Making it Better Challenge

For a chance to win prizes and be in an ad, tell us how you make Minneapolis a healthier place

Sep 30, 2011, 15:42 ET from City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Every day, Minneapolis residents are making changes to create healthier communities by providing greater access to healthy food or more opportunities for physical activity. The Making it Better campaign brings people together to discover and celebrate the stories of these residents. Now, community members can share what they are doing to make their schools, neighborhoods or workplaces healthier by entering the Making it Better Challenge. Participants can win weekly prizes, and one story will be chosen as part of a new set of advertisements showing how people are making it better in their community.

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"We see examples all over the city of people who are working to make healthy changes in their community," said Minneapolis Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant. "The Making it Better Challenge is an opportunity to highlight all of the great work that is taking place and – just as essential – inspire others to get involved. All of these efforts have a big impact on improving the health of Minneapolis residents."

The Making it Better Challenge will take place from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, 2011. Examples of eligible submissions include the parents and educators in north Minneapolis working together to provide healthier snacks at school, employers in Seward encouraging active commuting to work and neighbors all over getting together to improve pedestrian safety. Everyone who lives, works or attends school in Minneapolis may submit their stories at www.makingitbettermn.org. Complete rules and guidelines are available online.

The Challenge submission that receives the most "thumbs up" on the website will be featured in a new Making it Better advertisement that will debut in January 2012.

Each challenge participant will receive a stainless steel water bottle. In addition, each week during the submission period, three participants will be randomly drawn to choose from one of five prize packages:

  • Take-a-Hike: The winner and five friends will each win a yearlong pass to the Minnesota State Parks system and a backpack filled with a t-shirt, healthy snacks and a pedometer.
  • To the Market: The winner and five friends will each receive a cookbook and a $50 certificate to a local farmers market or co-op. To help carry home all their treasures, each person will receive a tote bag.
  • Sous-Chefs: The winner and up to 11 friends will participate in a group cooking session and dinner led by Kate T. Moore, host of Family Dinner Minneapolis. Kate will come to the location of your choice and help your group prepare a healthy dinner together, teaching and cooking throughout the process.
  • Ski, Skate or Snowboard: A day of winter fun, choosing up to 12 people cross country skiing at a Minneapolis Park and Recreation ski trail or ice skating at the Minneapolis Depot or up to five people downhill skiing or snowboarding at Buck Hill. Afterwards, warm up with hot cider and a healthy lunch. This package includes ski, skate or snowboard rentals.
  • Get into the Groove: Outfit your school, workplace or neighborhood with some new equipment and get everyone moving with a $500 gift certificate to Gopher Sport. Choose from scooters, jump ropes, mats, basketballs and more.

About Making it Better

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. The campaign focuses on three primary areas where healthy changes are taking place – neighborhoods, schools and the workplace. Throughout the campaign, Minneapolis residents are invited to share their ideas for making it better where they live, learn, work and play. For more information, visit www.makingitbettermn.org or follow the campaign at www.facebook.com/MakingitBetterMinneapolis or twitter.com/BetterMpls.

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