Healthy Babies Initiative

In partnership with Healthy Babies Bright Futures, we are working with cities to improve children’s health and reduce health disparities, specifically those that decrease neurotoxic exposures.

City leaders can dramatically impact children’s health, in particular children of color, who are most adversely impacted by these environmental harms. By addressing the social and physical determinants of health through access to healthy foods, lead abatement, and more, city leaders can play a major role in addressing these disparities.


Case Study: Salem, MA

How Salem, MA Provided Thousands of Pounds of Organic Food to Local Families

“The funding we received from HBBF and MIP allowed the City of Salem to distribute over 6,000 pounds of healthy, locally grown produce to Salem families this summer,” said Mayor Driscoll. “In addition to improving access to healthy food, it was also a tremendous community building experience.”

Recent Publications

  • Mayors Innovation Project & Healthy Babies Bright Futures. Bringing Healthy Food & Prenatal Services to Families in Champaign, IL.

    To build a brighter future for babies—in part by combating high rates of obesity, food insecurity, and childhood poverty—the City of Champaign and Champaign Township partnered with  Champaign-Urbana City Farms (CU City Farms) to create a Mobile Food Market. Since its launch in September 2020, the Mobile Food Market distributed more than 5,000 pounds of organic,  locally grown produce, organic baby food, diapers and formula—free of charge—to more than 1,000 community members.

  • Mayors Innovation Project & Healthy Babies Bright Futures. How Lynn, MA Expanded a Farmers Market to Support Vulnerable Residents.

    Residents and community leaders in Lynn, MA worked together to address food insecurity by bolstering the Central Square Farmers Market and associated services to improve the health of  pregnant women and young children. The City of Lynn, 10 miles north of Boston, is known for its contemporary public art, international population, historic homes, and public parks and open  spaces. Relatively old housing stock, however, makes Lynn prone to lead paint hazards.

  • In 2019, the Mack Park Food Farm, a municipal farm and food forest, replaced an unused baseball field at a city park in Salem, Massachusetts. Today, it encompasses about 10,000 square  feet, along with a recently constructed pond that captures water for irrigation and overflows to a nearby urban wetland. The Food Farm grew from the efforts of local residents and agriculturalists Matt Buchanan, Pat Schultz, and Andy Varela. It was built in 2020 with about $40,000 in grants, including a $5,000 grant from the Healthy Babies Initiative sponsored by Bright Cities and the Mayors Innovation Project.


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