Be Well Belmont hosted a town-wide community dialogue on Sunday, October 18th. Our goal was to look for solutions to address identified gaps and maximize assets for issues related to food and activity.
Topics had been selected at a previous round table meeting, based on the interests of the attendees. Those participating in the community dialogue produced numerous suggestions for meetings needs and providing access to healthier living in our community.
Working in small groups the top ideas generated for each topic were as follows:
Keeping Kids in Motion:
1. Increase parent involvement of the need for kids to be active and to decrease screen time.
2. Hold community events centered on activity or increase activity at community events, such as hula-hoops available at the Farmer’s Market and Payson Park concerts.
Staying Active Throughout Adulthood:
1. Organize and publicize group outings and activities open to everyone
2. Increase access to existing facilities such as Beech Street Center, Belmont High School fitness room, field house and pool (add a.m.hours) as well as recreational fields.
3. Create a centralized calendar or place to post available opportunities for adult activity and exercise
Biking & Walking in Belmont:
1. Connect Cambridge to Waltham through Belmont Center with a Community Path.
2. Create improved and smarter infrastructure in sidewalk design, such as buffers between street and sidewalks, and green corridors between schools.
Preparing Healthy Meals:
1. Expand school gardens to get kids interested in fresh food.
2. Educate residents about the use of seasonal produce
3. Present demonstrations of healthy food preparation at the Farmer’s market
School Lunch & Beyond:
1. Promote sustainability through composting, recycling and organic produce.
2. Increase the length of time to eat and socialize during school lunch.
3. Increase use of locally produced food.
Nutritional Options at the Food Pantry:
1. Educate clients about nutrition, provide healthy recipes and prepared food kits with items needed for a healthy meal.
2. Locate a permanent site.
Food Insecurity in Belmont:
1. Identify and reach-out to agencies that work with people in need and collaborate with them in increase clients’ access to healthy food
2. Provide prepared foods (meals) to the food pantry.
Growing Food in Belmont:
1. Facilitate and develop a community of Belmont gardeners who will educate and mentor via events, communication and hand-on classes in local gardens
2. Work with the Food Pantry to coordinate donations of fresh produce and explore options for long-term storage of perishables