About Us

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Since 2009, Mass in Motion New Bedford (MiM NB), funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and housed at New Bedford’s Office of Housing & Community Development, has been making policy, environmental, and systems changes to encourage residents to eat healthier and be more active. Working with partners from a variety of sectors, including health care, private business, government, education, and non-profits, MiM NB’s mission is to promote healthy eating and active living throughout the city.

Current Initiatives

Food Access

Increasing access to nutritious and affordable foods, particularly in low-income, under-served neighborhoods, through:

Built Environment

Improving infrastructure and safety throughout the city to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to walk and bike more. Specific initiatives include:

Mass in Motion Kids

This year we are evaluating the impact and success of the Mass in Motion Kids program that was implemented over the past two years, while also continuing to create effective and sustainable programs that combat and prevent childhood obesity.

Past Successes


  • Received funding from Narragansett Bay Wheelmen
  • Launched the Healthy Markets Initiative
  • One of ten communities to receive a grant from the Massachusetts Council on Aging and Department of Public Health to build a community garden at Hazelwood Senior Center
  • Mayor Jon Mitchell invited to speak at the annual, statewide Mass in Motion Action Institute
  • Completed the 3rd Annual Summer Beverage Challenge throughout the community, partnering with Parks, Recreation & Beaches and the school district
  • Worked with Parks, Recreation & Beaches on Project Bread
  • Participated as a panel member at the FedUp screening, in partnership with the New Bedford Wellness Initiative
  • Invited to speak with the new Dean of Nursing at UMass Dartmouth as part of a Public Health Tour
  • Helped the South Coast Bikeway receive official non-profit status
  • With help from the Department of Public Infrastructure, installed over 160 bike racks at all public schools and parks throughout the City
  • Helped members of the New Bedford Bicycle Committee receive certification in MassRIDES
  • Awarded a “Growing Up Healthy” grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
  • Launched the Victory Park Children’s Garden
  • Invited to the CDC’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Forum in Atlanta
  • Invited to present our success with the Healthy Dining Program at local Health Board training


  • Steve Miller from the Harvard School of Public Health’s “Livable Streets and Healthy Weight Initiative” toured New Bedford and offered technical assistance regarding the City’s bicycle culture
  • Mayor Mitchell declared May 17th “Bike to Work Day” for the City
  • Local health teacher invited to speak at the statewide Safe Routes to School forum about the success of I-Walk Day at Normandin Middle School
  • Worked with Brooks Elementary School featured as first “Bike to School” school
  • Held MiM Kids Summer Passport Program
  • Re-opened Harmony Garden
  • Invited by Mayor Jon Mitchell to participate in the Mayor’s Learn and Serve Youth Program
  • Mass in Motion New Bedford founder, Pauline Hamel, steps down and receives citation from the City for her dedication to improving the health of the City through MiM
  • Held 1st Annual Pedal Party
  • Hosted pedestrian and bicycle safety trainings at local schools with Safe Routes to School and MassBike
  • Completed preliminary infrastructure assessments with Mass Department of Transportation
  • Healthy Dining Restaurants were featured at the annual Connecting for Change Conference, in collaboration with Food Day
  • Launched the Healthy Dining New Bedford program
  • Worked with New Bedford Public Schools to adopt district-wide School Wellness Policies, in collaboration with the NB Public Schools Healthy Advisory Council
  • One of two cities awarded the CDC’s Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Grant which became Mass in Motion Kids
  • Invited to present at the Policy Link Equity Summit in Detroit
  • Distributed School Health and Wellness Resource Manuals to all New Bedford Public Schools


  • Presented at the Mass Department of Public Health’s Regional Health Dialogues
  • Contributed to City’s Master Plan 2020 regarding public health, built environment, and opportunities for healthy eating and active living
  • Worked with the City’s Community Development Block Grant program to create a policy requiring all grant recipients to offer healthy snack options at all meetings and events
  • Lincoln Elementary School Assistant Principal received “Rookie of the Year” award from the Mass Department of Transportation for participation in International Walk to School Day
  • Co-sponsored with VOICES for a Healthy Southcoast, the “Healthy Southcoast by Design,” a two day workshop and tour with Mark Fenton, national pedestrian advocate
  • Board of Health adopted the Health Resolution for a Healthier Community through the Built Environment and Community Design
  • Kicked-off Soda Free Challenge initiatives at the YMCA, YWCA, and Boys and Girls Club in partnership with Boston University School of Public Health
  • All New Bedford Public Schools signed on as partners in the Safe Routes to School initiative
  • Kicked-off first International Walk/Bike to School Day
  • Collaborated with Mass in Motion Fall River, UMass Dartmouth, and SRPEDD to create the South Coast Bikeway Alliance