The Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ) recently celebrated the completion of two successful years working to improve the health of North Side and Broadway residents in ways that residents feel is important and make an impact.  During that time, many initiatives have been created, and launched with many being led by community residents.  This past Tuesday, May 9 the HEZ had another with the announcement of its first Community Mini-Grant awards.  These awards were made possible by the generous funding from the Citizen’s Bank Champions in Action Award.

In February, the HEZ invited community residents and organizations to submit project proposals to be funded for its Community Mini-Grant Project.  They looked for proposals that improved the health of residents in the HEZ through either neighborhood infrastructure improvements or supportive staffing.   Many proposals were received and all showed innovative and creative thinking to improve the health of the residents and neighborhoods.

The winners were announced at the 2 Year Newport HEZ celebration Tuesday morning.

“The Newport HEZ is committed to a community led design,” said Olivia Kachingwe, Coordinator of the Newport Health Equity Zone, in a provided press release. “We hope this year’s awardees inspire others to come forward and submit their ideas.  These grassroot community led efforts do make a difference.”

The mini-grant recipients are:

  • Newport Housing Authority, Park Holm Senior Center: Funds will be used to improve the quality of life for members of the Park Holm Senior Center through the implementation of social and wellness activities. Some activities will include quilting, health and wellness programs, floral arranging and exercise programs. 

Total award $5,775

  • Alliance for a Livable Newport: Funds will be used to beautify outdoor space by planting 15,000 daffodil bulbs in Miantonomi Park and other locations within the Health Equity Zone. 

Total award $2,000

  • Common Fence Music: Funds will be used to offer three drumming workshops at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, and three workshops at the Florence Gray Center. Funds will also be used for two Connecting the Beats interactive concerts (one at each location) 

Total award $6,000

  • Aquidneck Community Table: Funds will be used to support a pilot Farmers’ Market this summer at Pell Elementary School. ACT will offer a Kids Food Passport program, organize the availability of local musicians, offer fun interactive games for all ages, and organize the acceptance of SNAP benefits at the market. 

Total award $5,225