August 22, 2022 – Healthy Kids Thunder Bay is hosting a community barbeque today at Minnesota Park (277 Pacific Avenue) at 3:30pm to celebrate the creation and expansion of resident-informed programming and health services made possible because of a grant received from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The grant has a value of $1,588,731 over four years and has helped implement the Healthy Kids Health on the Move for Equity (HOME) Program in Thunder Bay. The HOME Program began in September of 2021, and the funding has already been put to good use through partnerships with many community organizations focused on improving child health and wellness in the City.
This funding supports the delivery of health and social services for children and their families in four equity-deserving Thunder Bay neighbourhoods. The four neighbourhoods are: Windsor/Blucher/Picton; Academy Heights; Dease/McKellar/Ogden/Simpson; and Westfort. These areas were identified through local early childhood development data and research. The program brings together residents and community partners to provide evidence-informed programming around physical activity, nutrition, smoking prevention and cessation, mental health, and other topics identified by neighbourhood residents.
The HOME program is supported by community partners on the Healthy Kids Steering Committee, and has two main components:
- Developing Healthy Kids Sites in equity deserving neighbourhoods, which provide a safe space for accessing health promotion programming and social services; and,
- A four-week education program, called the “Healthy Kids Family Program,” to equip parents/caregivers with health-related knowledge, self-efficacy, coping skills, and information on local services and resources.
“Previously, residents shared that it was difficult to access services outside of the neighbourhood due to challenges like transportation and cost,” says Dr. Erin Pearson, Principal Investigator, Lakehead University School of Kinesiology, who is evaluating the impact of the project.
With this grant we were able to bring services to those who might not have access otherwise. Since its initiation in 2020, the HOME program has offered 5,074 activities to 13,092 children and their family members!
“Over the last few years, it has been wonderful to see community partners and neighbourhood residents come together to support the health of children and families in the City,” says Rachel Bayes, Program Coordinator of Healthy Kids Thunder Bay. “I’m thrilled to work with so many organizations to strengthen the knowledge, skills, and abilities of families in these neighbourhoods to engage in healthy living strategies and access community services.”
Healthy Kids Thunder Bay is led by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and has spearheaded various funded initiatives since 2014, including Healthy Kids Community Challenge, and Keeping Kids Healthy through Collective Impact.
For information about Healthy Kids Thunder Bay events and program updates, follow @healthykidstbay on Facebook and Twitter.
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