November 3, 2016
PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that Wilkinsburg Borough is the latest community to receive designation as a Live Well Allegheny Community. The announcement was made during the Wilkinsburg Thursday Open Market (WTOM) event. The borough’s participation raises the number of municipalities participating in Live Well Allegheny to 33.
“We’re thrilled to have Wilkinsburg join us in this initiative and effort. The community is a growing one which is taking positive steps to improve the quality of life in their community, something which goes hand in hand with the Live Well Allegheny campaign,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We are grateful to have so many communities, and elected officials, taking an active role in our effort to have the healthiest county in America.”
Wilkinsburg Borough hosted its Thursday Open Market event in the parking lot of South Avenue Methodist Church at 733 Ross Avenue 15221 from 3:00 pm-6:00 pm. Farmers, artisan, crafters and prepared food vendors participated in this event.
“The Live Well Allegheny campaign is promoting a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and farmer’s markets are a great way to increase access to fresh and healthy food,” said ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “Open Market events are a great way for Wilkinsburg residents to purchase fresh food in their community. This is one activity among others that the Wilkinsburg Borough is undertaking as a Live Well Allegheny community which will enhance the health of its residents. Congratulations Wilkinsburg.”
The WTOM participates in the Fresh Access Program that is managed by Just Harvest with funding support from Live Well Allegheny. Customers can utilize the Fresh Access Food Bucks program. For every $5 that a shopper spends on their EBT card, they will receive an additional $2 in bonus tokens which can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables. SNAP, debit and cash were also accepted.
“It is important, for a host of reasons, that Wilkinsburg has been designated as a Live Well Allegheny Community,” said Council Member DeWitt Walton, who represents District 13. “For that borough, which has had long-term struggles with income inequalities, it is important to achieve this designation. Public health is a necessary component to improving the quality of life for residents and I applaud the borough for taking this step.”
In its ordinance for Live Well Allegheny, Wilkinsburg Borough indicated that in addition to the open market event, it will:
- Share information on wellness campaign events with the broader community to encourage voluntary participation of residents
- Promote participation in a voluntary wellness campaign for residents in the community
- Offer incentives for employees who walk or bike to work
- Promote and support Farmer’s Markets
- Promote smoke-free buildings and perimeters
- Provide health information focused on monthly or seasonal events
- Utilize web sites and social media to provide information on physical activity, nutrition, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other health and wellness related initiatives.
“Wilkinsburg Borough Council is excited to be designated as a Live Well Allegheny Community. We have focused on improving Wilkinsburg multiple ways some of them include: blight reduction, municipal investments, increased opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle access and revitalized greenspaces. We are pleased to expand our emphasis and commitment to personal health and well-being as part of our efforts to be a truly healthy and model community,” said Councilman Patrick Shattuck.
Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Board of Health and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker.