Sunday, September 25, 2011

Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness

You’ve probably heard of Jamie Oliver and his health food in school movement. What you may not have heard about is our own hometown heros that have been working on a food & fitness movement in the communities around Boston. And they’ve been doing it since 2006! You could call them the pioneers of the movement and they certainly deserve as much accolade as Jamie Oliver. Especially since they don’t have celebrity behind them, just their ideas and their will power! The group I’m talking about is the Boston Collaborative for Food & Fitness.

The BCFF works with a Youth Advisory Board for their GO 4RESH CAMPAIGN. The YAB consists of motivated youth throughout the community who are working towards their mutual goals of providing healthier and locally produced school menus. This farm to school initiative is hoped to provide students with healthier options, but also to properly fuel the students to concentrate and learn better as well as engage in physical activity all afternoon. The other upside to this goal is that the local farmers also thrive with a large demand! These young leaders and their support system at the BCFF stand to revolutionize the way students in Massachusetts eat…leading the way in what we can only hope will trigger a nation-wide demand for better! Not to mention make it cool to eat at school!

This isn’t all the BCFF is doing, however. They are also working on improving the community food environments. Why shouldn’t we all have access to the freshest, healthiest, localist…wait, is that a The BCFF believes we should, regardless of what neighborhood or socioeconomic group we fit into. They are working towards increasing markets for local foods through direct sale and retail venues, increasing access and affordability of healthy food in retail outlets, specifically independent stores in low-income neighborhoods, and building a sustainable infrastructure by supporting community coalitions focused on healthy food systems. Specifically, the Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition and the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing.

On top of their food movements, the BCFF is also working on a fitness initiative. As we all know, in a healthy lifestyle, being active is absolutely essential. They are embarking on this project with increased active transportation by development and implementation of Complete Streets Guidelines as well as converting small-scale underutilized open space into play areas, gardens, and small parks with the hope that local proximity will encourage people to get active! With physical education programs being cut nationally due to lack of funding, it is important for us, as members of a community we are proud of, to take this issue into our own hands. Getting active is something we can all stand to do and definitely get behind!

So lets get to work people! Lets get behind the wellness of our communities and of our neighbors! Lets get behind our own health and well being! The BCFF and GO 4RESH can use and welcome all the help you want to give! Contact them! They will have a booth at the Boston Local Food Festival on October 1, 2011 happening at the Boston Waterfront in Fort Point Channel! You’re going to be there anyway, so stop by their booth and get involved! You can also contact them through their website at

Whattaya waiting for?! Lets change the way we eat, lets change the way we play, lets get healthy Massachusetts!

Become a fan of the Collaborative on Facebook! So stop reading this blog and get to it!

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