Gloucester recently launched a new program to help the city’s seniors access healthy food and exercise opportunities. Run by the Health Department, Cape Ann Seniors on the GO is open to residents of the Housing Authority’s Clark, Lincoln, McPherson, Poplar, and Sheedy facilities.
The program includes providing seniors from those sites with free bus service to locations such as the Open Door Food Pantry, the Cape Ann Farmers Market, grocery stores, and the Rose Baker Senior Center, helping ensure their access to healthy foods. They also can ride the bus to various locations for fitness opportunities, such as the Gloucester Boulevard for walking, or a bowling alley.
Activities and the bus schedule will vary during the year based on seasonal weather conditions. The service will use a 16-seat, fully accessible bus operated by the Cape Ann Transit Authority. To reserve a seat, call 978-283-7916.
The program is an outgrowth of the Health Department’s partnership with Cape Ann Mass in Motion, a regional initiative that seeks to lower risk of chronic diseases by promoting equitable food access and active living opportunities.
“The Seniors on the Go Program will meet a tremendous need for our seniors, and has the potential to dramatically improve their quality of life as they seek healthy food and fitness opportunities,” Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said in e-mailed comments.
The initiative was made possible by a $20,000 Addison Gilbert and Beverly Hospitals Community Collaborative grant, and an approximately $84,500 grant from the Massachusetts Community Compact Initiative. The two grants also are funding similar programs in Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport.
John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.