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


  • Awarded Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Healthy Food Fund Grant to implement subsidized CSA program at NB Housing sites
  • One of 53 communities to earn 5 Gold Medals for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Program and invited to White House for Special Recognition; thereafter, invited to National League of Cities Conference in Nashville, TN to receive award/recognition
  • Implemented two Walking Schools Buses as part of Safe Routes to School efforts
  • NB Public Schools implemented Pedestrian/Bike Safety Training Curriculum for all 2nd grade PE Classes
  • Launched the revitalized Farmers Market
  • Awarded grant from Island Foundation & Partners for Places—a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities-to provide outreach and education about local food and the farmers markets to under-served residents in NB
  • In partnership with Parks Recreation & Beaches, awarded grant from the Department of Conservation & Recreation to revitalize the Ross C. Mathieu Nature Trail at Pulaski Elem.
  • Participated in 1st Annual NB Fitness Challenge, in collaboration with YMCA, Parks, Recreation & Beaches, YMCA Southcoast, Carabiner’s Indoor Climbing and Fitness, Southcoast Health, Dartmouth Total Fitness, and the New Bedford Wellness Initiative.
  • 4th Annual SCBA Bike Summit
  • Signed on four more local corner stores to the Healthy Markets Initiative; held three Cooking Demonstrations at participating Healthy Markets


  • NBBC received funding from Narragansett Bay Wheelman
  • Launched Healthy Markets Initiative
  • 3rd Annual SCBA Summit
  • Received grant from the Mass Councils on Aging/Mass DPH to create Hazelwood Garden (one of 10 MiM communities)
  • NB Mayor Jon Mitchell invited to speak at MiM Action Institute
  • Collaborated with local physician champion, Dr. Michael Rocha who formed the NB Wellness Initiative, to focus on wellness, including mindfulness and stress management
  • 3rd annual Summer Beverage Challenge initiative
  • Collaborated with Parks Recreation & Beaches on Project Bread grant, to increase nutrition education at Play in the Parks sites as a component of Mayor’s Learn and Serve
  • Participated in Mayor’s Learn and Serve Youth Program with three MiM groups, focusing on health, built environment, and nutrition
  • MiM NB received 3 year funding renewal from Mass DPH
  • Participated in Fed Up screening as a panel speaker, as part of NB Wellness Initiative
  • South Coast Bikeway Alliance officially received non-profit status
  • Installed more than 170 bike racks in all NB schools (high school, athletic fields, and 16 elementary schools), 13 parks, 1 beach, hurricane barrier, and 2 downtown garages


  • Steve Miller, Livable Streets, and Healthy Weight Initiative toured NB for biking technical assistance
  • Mass DPH visited for Healthy Dining showcase
  • 2nd annual SCBA Summit
  • Safe Routes to School Forum invited Normandin health teacher to present on success of I-Walk
  • Mass Walk/Bike to School Day featured 1st Bike To School at Brooks Elem.
  • Mayor Mitchell declared May 17th Bike to Work Day for New Bedford
  • Groundwork USA National Team Site Visit
  • Renamed Soda-Free challenge to Summer Beverage Challenge initiative
  • MiM Kids Summer Passport Program launched to engage children at Parks Recreation & Beaches Play at Parks sites to increase physical activity during the summer
  • Collaborated with City Councilman Henry Bousquet, YWCA, and Parks Recreation & Beaches to re-launch Harmony Garden
  • Invited to participate in Mayor’s Learn and Serve Youth Program
  • MiM NB Founder Pauline Hamel stepped down and received a citation from the City of NB for her work and dedication to improving the health of the City
  • Held 1st Annual Pedal Party
  • Pedestrian/Bike trainings held at schools via Safe Routes to School and MassBike
  • Held MassDOT Preliminary Infrastructure Assessment meeting
  • Connecting for Change Conference featured Healthy Dining restaurants offering local menu items (collaboration with Food Day)
  • Installed 15 bike racks at local parks


  • Invited to present at Mass DPH Regional Health Dialogues
  • 3rd Annual Southcoast Worksite Health and Wellness Collaborative Annual Conference: It’s More than Nutrition and Fitness!
  • Southcoast Outdoor Network brought national author Richard Louv to New Bedford
  • Awarded Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation’s Growing Up Healthy grant to launch Victory Park Children’s Learning Garden, in collaboration with Trips for Kids
  • New Bedford Bicycle Committee awarded a United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Community Building Mini-Grant for bicycle safety education
  • 1st Annual Greater New Bedford Health Equity Summit
  • Soda Free Challenge initiative held throughout the City, in partnership with Parks Recreation & Beaches, youth groups, and New Bedford Housing
  • AHA! Night featured Healthy Dining New Bedford restaurants and the New Bedford Bicycle Committee
  • Invited to CDC Comprehensive Cancer Control Forum in Atlanta
  • Official launched massinmotionnewbedford.org!
  • Invited to present Healthy Dining at Massachusetts’ Health Board training
  • NBBC receives funding from Narragansett Bay Wheelman


  • Healthy Snack Policy passed for recipients of CDBG funding
  • 1st Annual Southcoast Regional Bikeway Summit
  • Contributed to the New Bedford City Master Plan 2020 regarding public health, the built environment, and opportunities to increase physical activity and healthy eating
  • Abraham Lincoln Elementary School Asst. Principal received “Rookie of the Year” award from MassDOT for New Bedford’s participation in International Walk to School Day
  • 1st MA Walk/Bike to School Day
  • 2nd annual Southcoast Worksite Health and Wellness Collaborative Annual Conference: The Future is Now
  • Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Prevention grant awarded to VOICES for a Healthy Southcoast with ongoing policy work in physical activity, healthy eating, healthy vending, tobacco pharmacy bans, and smoke-free perimeters
  • Invited to present at Prevention for Health Caucus at the State House in Boston
  • Launched Healthy Dining New Bedford
  • Launched Greater New Bedford Health Equity Initiative with federal, state, and local leaders
  • 12th Annual Community Health Network Legislative Breakfast featured Mayor Scott Lang and Mayor William Flanagan, city leaders, state representatives, including Antonio Cabral, Paul Schmid, David Sullivan, and U.S. Congressman Barney Frank
  • Adopted the district-wide School Wellness Policies in NB Public Schools, in collaboration with the NBPS Health Advisory Council
  • City of New Bedford awarded Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Grant (Mass in Motion Kids)
  • Formed New Bedford Bicycle Committee
  • Invited to present at Policy Link Equity Summit in Detroit
  • Distributed the Mass in Motion NB School Health and Wellness Resource Manual to all NB public schools, featuring the First Lady, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative
  • Assisted with the Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness Community Health Assessment Report, focusing on at-risk youth, elders, and inter-generational activities in the Greater New Bedford area


  • City of New Bedford awarded 4th Municipal Wellness and Leadership grant by Mass DPH
  • Held 1st annual Southcoast Worksite Health and Wellness Collaborative Annual Conference: Worksite Health Resolutions
  • Healthy Southcoast by Design 2-day workshop and tour with Mark Fenton, National Pedestrian Advocate (co-sponsored with VOICES for a Healthy Southcoast)
  • Board of Health adopted Resolution for a Healthier Community through the Built Environment and Community Design
  • Launched Soda–Free Challenge to encourage children to limit/avoid soda in the summer
  • All New Bedford public schools enrolled as partners of Mass DOT Safe Routes to Schools by NBPS to participate in annual International Walk/Bike to School Day and MA Walk/Bike to School Day
  • 11th Annual Community Health Network Legislative Breakfast featured Mayor Scott Lang and William Flanagan, city leaders, as well as state representatives and others
  • Held New Bedford-Fall River Bike Ride: People on Bicycles Connecting Southcoast Communities in collaboration with Mass in Motion Fall River, UMASS Dartmouth, and SRPEDD to create a SouthCoast Regional Bikeway, now with 8 towns and cities