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Mpls. nets $25k prize for healthy living initiatives

  • Blog Post by: Eric Roper
  • February 21, 2013 - 2:47 PM

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded Minneapolis a $25,000 prize for its efforts promoting health living.

The foundation, the country's largest philanthropy devoted to health issues, highlighted the city's partnerships with non-profit groups, initiatives to reduce smoking and obesity, and successes expanding biking and walking.

Minneapolis is one of six communities to win the award, which is debuting this year. Others include New Orleans, Santa Cruz, Ca., Fall River, Mass., Manistique, Mich., and Cambridge, Mass.

"These prize winners represent leadership at its finest—trailblazers creating a culture of health, said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO of the foundation.

Mayor R.T. Rybak said the award "recognizes what can happen when a city gets creative and engages the community and partners on new ways to improve people's lives."

The foundation pinpointed several areas where the city had especially excelled:

- Non-profits like the Northside Achievement Zone, which works with youth through their lives to ensure they get to college and eventually launch a career.

- Supporting smoke-free multi-unit housing, forcing corner stores to sell healthy food and creating a bicycle infrastructure.

- Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee, a bike repair and rental center that's trying to increase biking activities on the north side.

© 2014 Star Tribune