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City of Meridian receives grant for being a ‘Healthy Hometown’

The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation has awarded the City of Meridian $25,000 for being one of the healthiest cities in the state. Yesterday, the city threw a celebration.

“We are so excited to be chosen as one Mississippi’s 2017 Healthy Hometowns,” said Laura Carmichael, the city’s cultural affairs director.

Meridian was one of four cities in the state to receive an award.

“It’s a very competitive process. The application itself has a focus on healthy eating and exercise.

For example, the application asks whether the city has places for residents to safely walk, bike and run. It asks whether the convenient stores and restaurants have healthy options that are offered,” said Shelia Grogan, executive director of the BCBS Mississippi Foundation.

Carmichael said the city has made strides in helping Meridian become healthier.

“They looked at us because of Earth’s Bounty, our community gardens, and all the great events that we have like with state games and our walks and runs.

The city plans to put the $25,000 back into some of the city’s parks and playgrounds to not only encourage a healthy lifestyle but also healthy play.

“We’ve recently opened the Velma Young Community Center. There’s no playground at the site as of now, so this money will probably go to a new playground for our children.”

Chelsea Jones reporting Twin States.


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