Medford is a city in Middlesex County, on the Mystic River and bordering Middlesex Fells, five miles northwest of downtown Boston. In the 2010 U.S. Census, Medford's population was 56,173. It is known as a city of neighborhoods with much pride and a home to a diverse population in terms of age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The Mass in Motion grant is supported by Medford Health Matters, a volunteer coalition comprised of representatives of service organizations, Tufts University, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, city departments (i.e. Board of Health, Disability Commission), Chamber of Commerce and citizens. Medford Health Matter's mission is to foster an environment of wellness and healthy lifestyles for all those who live, learn, work and play in the City of Medford. Medford has taken some great first steps in launching the Mass in Motion initiative. Accomplishments to date include; confirming a winter farmers’ market site; planning a walkability study and interactive map of routes that people frequent such as school, grocery stores, and parks; and working with Green Medford and Mass Safe Routes to Schools to pilot a Walk/Ride Challenge in late spring.
In addition, Medford, served by the Melrose/Wakefield Tobacco Control Partners, receives CTG funding to implement smoke-free multi-family housing initiatives.
Restaurants are a vital part of many communities’ economic bases and draw visitors from around the Metro Boston region. Local restaurants rather than chain establishments dominate the market in Medford. Partnering with local restaurants to offer healthier options in a healthy dining program will improve nutrition for residents and visitors. The goal of this initiative by September 29, 2014, is to increase the number of full service restaurants in Medford that offer and promote healthier dining options (including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lower sodium/no salt added meals, smaller portions) through an established healthy dining program. This strategy will improve residents’ access to healthy, affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.
The goals of this initiative is to identify potential walking routes that would connect neighborhoods with the lower Mystic River and its tributaries to create new opportunities for the community to access and enjoy the Mystic River. A walking route taskforce has mapped the "Over the Mystic" walking route and is working on establishing additional walking routes throughout Medford's neighborhoods, to the Mystic River and biking routes to the coast.
Farmers markets that are located in convenient areas and that feature culturally appropriate options can promote better nutrition for lower income and urban residents in these communities. The goal of this initiative is to reduce barriers to access and increase utilization of farmer’s markets for low income residents. By September 29, 2014, Medford will increase the number of purchases by participants of SNAP and Massachusetts Farmers Market Coupons at farmer’s markets. This strategy will improve residents’ access to healthy, affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing the number of people who consume the recommended amount of produce each day.
Safe routes to School programs promote healthy alternative ways for children to get to and from school. Implementation of a safe routes to school program provides more opportunities for children to walk and cycle more to improve their physical health. The goal of this initiative, by September 29, 2014, is to increase the number of schools in Medford with an active safe routes to school program.