Mass in Motion Martha’s Vineyard – FINAL REPORT
This document serves as an overview of the Mass In Motion MV (MIM MV) initiatives and successes for the 3-year life of the grant from 2011-2014. The activities were conducted in three major categories:
- School Nutrition
- Food Assistance
- Healthy Design
- Safe Routes to School
- Complete Streets
- Getting Around MV
I. SCHOOL NUTRITION
MIM MV met our goal to increase the number of the local vegetables and foods available in all of the 6 Island elementary schools and the MV Regional High School lunch programs, and helped the schools make big changes to offer healthy snacks.
- Superintendent of Schools
- 7 Wellness Committees
- School Nurses
- Parent – Teacher Organizations (PTOs)
- Island Grown Schools
- Island Grown Gleaning
- Vineyard Nutrition
Island Grown Schools (IGS)
MIM MV provided support and fostered the growth of the Island Grown Schools 'Harvest of the Month' Farm to School program, one of the original programs in Massachusetts.
- Increased number of school gardens - in 2014 the islands’ 6 elementary schools and the MV Regional High School (MVRHS), plus all 7 of the islands’ pre-schools have active school gardens and farm to school curriculum.
- IGS increased the number of student/teacher ‘Harvest Of the Month’ ‘taste test’ events, meeting the goal of hosting a monthly event in 5 elementary schools, 4 pre-schools and the MV High school
- MIM MV supported the expansion of the “Harvest of the Month” idea to Food Assistance Programs and other key community partners
- Professional development was held for the cafeteria directors in 7 schools. This included training, implementation and communication strategies of the new nutrition guidelines.
- Hosted Kate Adamick from Cook for America (cookforamerica.com) to work with schools and YMCA to make healthy food affordable.
- Cooperated with the Rural Scholars island nutrition study – see below in FOOD ASSISTANCE for more info
Island Grown Gleaners (IGG)
Island Grown Gleaners was MIM MV’s primary partner for distributing free produce to low-income programs and schools on Martha’s Vineyard.
- IGG streamlined the production, distribution and communication of gleaned produce for use at the MVRHS, 6 elementary schools, Serving Hands Food Assistance, and 3 island Senior Centers. The team also approached the MV Hospital (unfortunately the Hospital was not able to continue because of restrictions)
- Island Grown Gleaning recipe box (IGG and IGS Harvest Of the Month) at Serving Hands was made available to all patrons.
- MIM MV funded essential equipment to insure that their gleaned food processing and distribution happens as productively as possible.
All-Island Wellness Committee
To support the importance of healthy fruits and vegetable options in Island schools, MIM worked to energize the 7 Island Wellness committees to focus on the ‘Vineyard Healthy Snack Initiative’ as a collective all-island program.
- All Island schools considered and 4 (out of 7) customized a ‘Vineyard Healthy Snack Initiative’ for their school.
- All island schools via their individual lunch programs increased the number of healthy fruits and vegetable options in their school lunch program with an emphasis on local and seasonal foods.
- A proactive conversation and appointment of a working committee to address larger island issues such as; consolidated buying for the school cafeterias, and an Island-wide nutritionist that will both plan and implement island-wide menus that both fit the DPH guidelines but excel to include local and seasonal foods.
- MIM MV assisted the MVRHS to purchase a refrigerated vending machine to make possible hearty fresh snacks for in school and after school purchases.
Vineyard Nutrition is a nutritional counseling organization on the island.
- Via our partnership, MIMMV provided over 30 programs of expert nutrition counseling, training, and outreach to parents and families in schools and community organizations.
- Vineyard Nutrition provided development, consultation of the ‘Vineyard Snack Initiative’, a healthy snack, a-la-carte and ‘special event’ food curriculum that has been used to revamp and increase healthy foods by all of the 6 elementary schools, the MVRHS and key afterschool programs. Adoption of the program varied from school to school.
Post MIM MV:
- Island Grown Schools (IGS) will be taking the lead on furthering healthy food choices in the island schools
- Vineyard Nutrition is teaching both nutrition and cooking classes at MVCS 1-2 times a month, Head Start 1-2 times a month till June. VN continues their work with the Tribe and is working with IGS about nutrition classes at the high school this spring and with the Charter School on a 2015 program.
- All-Island Wellness Committee – The school nurse in Edgartown, Tisbury and in Oak Bluffs have taken the lead on All-Island healthy eating campaigns.
II. FOOD ASSISTANCE
Mass in Motion worked with Serving Hands Food Distribution and key community partners to create and implement an awareness campaign with the goal to increase the number of healthy food options at food assistance programs on Martha’s Vineyard.
Vineyard Council on Hunger (including the Island Food Pantry)
MV Partnership for Health
MIM MV Healthy Foods Committee
Assessment of need
- In October 2012 the Rural Scholars from the University of Massachusetts conducted a Food Accessibility Study for Martha’s Vineyard. They made recommendations about geographic locations on the Vineyard that were ‘food deserts’. In response community suppers were created and continue to be held in all 6 towns 7 days a week to give access to home cooked, healthy foods for all.
- The grocery store study garnered information on how markets could make healthy foods more available and prominent in their stores. The study was distributed and adopted by the participating stores.
- MIM MV supported the increase in sign-ups of people eligible for SNAP: From 9/1/12 – 8/31/1314 MIM provided support to the Vineyard Heath Care Access Program, which program assisted additional 310 Islanders to apply for SNAP and continues to do that. Additionally, through Serving Hands 96 people were signed up (with approximately 4 members per family) in spring of 2014.
- MIM MV assisted Serving Hand to sign up patrons for Food Stamps, Fuel Assistance and Island Club Card at the monthly Food Assistant pick up.
- MIM MV initiated acquisition of new healthy food partners: Island Food Products offered services to pick up refrigeration and freezer foods from Greater Boston Food Bank. Because of this, Serving Hands can now store fresh meats and vegetables for patrons.
- MIM MV supported the IGG to develop a schedule to assure consistent delivery of gleaned products to the island food assistance programs.
Promotion of the initiative
- Healthy Food Donation awareness campaign was launched in May 2014 in the two largest island grocery stores - Cronig’s Market in Vineyard Haven and Stop and Shop in Edgartown). The 'Share Your Bounty.~Buy One, Give One"~Healthy Food Donation Campaign,~aimed to educate~Vineyarders on how to make better choices about the food that they give to the island’s food assistance programs,~The Island Food Pantry,~Serving Hands Food Distribution~and~MV Center
for Living. The campaign encouraged folks to give foods~that they love and use, educate to~check~containers are unopened~and the~date on the container is not past the expiration date. The goal was to increase the availability of nutritious wholesome food that complements and supplements what clients are given at the pantries and senior programs.
- Tastings continue to be held monthly that includes distribution of recipes with nutritional information.
- A new recipe box of healthy cooking ideas was created and available for all patrons at Serving Hands Food Distribution center including recipes for primary gleaned produce in season.
Post MIM MV
Serving Hands Food Distribution will continue to expand their healthy food options and will keep the a consistent schedule of healthy tastings and recipe distribution.
III. HEALTHY DESIGN
1. Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
Martha's Vineyard MIM worked with Island partners to provide positive opportunities and experiences related to physical activity, with focus on walking and biking to school.
Superintendent of Schools
- All seven schools created a SRTS Committees comprised of a Coordinator, Erin Reed, state liaison, and the program director. MassBike, MassRIDES, and MassDOT participate as needed.
- All 6 Island elementary schools and the MV Regional High School island schools held a yearly bike to school day in May and will continue to do so self-sustained
- MIM MV conducted walkability study in three towns – Tisbury, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown to improve student’s ability to walk and bike to school. The maps and recommendations for improvement were distributed to the towns for implementation.
2. Complete Streets Guidelines
MIM MV collaborated and energized stakeholders to create an Island Wide Complete Streets Guideline that can be customized for each town’s needs.
Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC)
Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)
Chamber of Commerce
Martha’s Vineyard Online
Healthy Aging Initiative
6 Joint Transportation Committees
6 Departments of Public Works
6 Selectman (one from each town)
- MIM MV organized a ‘Vineyard Complete Streets Forum’ on May 20th, 2014. The goal of the program was to build a common understanding of Complete Streets and their potential benefits for Martha’s Vineyard.
- Complete Streets Policy was drafted after presentation to MV Commission and BPAC (Bike Pedestrian Action Committee). Ben Wood at the DPH is presently reviewing this draft. The final draft should be completed by January 2015 and then will be distributed to Town Administrators.
- Prioritized list of key “Healthy Design” projects (MIM MV, MV Commission, Mass Bike and MassDOT) which includes:
· Complete Streets Policy
· Safe Routes to School
· Better signage for cyclists
· Shared Use Paths (SUP) center lines / lane markers
· SUP maintenance – Re-circulate the walkabilty studies of the bike and pedestrian pathways done in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury. Review the current list of the 6 DPWs’ projects to create a priority list.
· Support from bicycling community at project meetings- meeting set with Cycle MV
· Identify local champions to ensure follow-thru on the priority list - ongoing
· Marketing bicycling on Martha’s Vineyard – see MV Getting Around MV
3. Martha’s Vineyard Mapping Project ‘Getting Around MV’
Mass in Motion MV collaborated with stakeholders to create a consolidated webbased bike and pedestrian mapping system for Martha's Vineyard accessible on mobile devices, that aims to facilitate opportunities for residents and visitors to navigate the island safely with ease for health, recreation and transportation purposes.
County Manager (Martina Thornton, secured server for map)
Chamber of Commerce
MV Commission (currently has mapped main bike/pedestrian ways, working on ancient ways and connector ways)
MV Land Bank, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, Trustees of Reservations, Vineyard Conservation Society, Audubon Society and other stakeholders
- ‘Getting Around MV’ digital map and marketing materials were created.
- The map was launched on the county website in June 2014.
- Database was built for promotion of the map and will be launched by the Chamber of Commerce in spring 2015.
Post MIM MV:
The Martha’s Vineyard Commission will continue to support and facilitate the BPAC (Bike Pedestrian Action Committee). In addition, they are taking the lead on the final Complete Streets Guidelines for MV.
Martha's Vineyard is comprised of 6 towns’ unique political environments - therefore it is very difficult to gain a shared consensus. MIM's goal for all of the Smart Goals was to help these communities communicate and share resources.
Peg Regan, former Director of Mass in Motion MV 2011-2013
Nevette Previd, Director of Mass in Motion 2013-2014