Pascagoula and Moss Point have received the designation of Mississippi Healthy Hometowns in the fifth year of the Healthy Hometown program, presented by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.
The selections were based on the cities' applications, as judged by a panel of health and wellness champions.
Each city will each receive a $25,000 grant from the Foundation to support ongoing community health initiatives.
Pascagoula proudly became one of the first Mississippi municipalities to adopt a Complete Streets policy to ensure roadways are designed for safety of walkers, runners and cyclists.
The policy is making a difference as heavily traveled Beach Boulevard along the Beachfront Promenade has seen a significant increase in the number of pedestrians and exercise enthusiasts.
Officials also cited worksite wellness programs, the Pascagoula School District sponsors kid-themed "Healthy, Wealthy Super Saturdays, and the Healthy Hometown Pascagoula webpage on the city's website as health initiatives.
In 2013, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation partnered with the City of Moss Point on the "Walk, Run or Bike" initiative to promote physical activity. This initiative creates awareness of the importance of daily exercise and encourages residents to lead healthy lifestyles.
Total fitness is the goal of city employees as they participate in free workout sessions twice each week at the Riverfront Community Center.
In the Moss Point School District, administrators and faculty members collaborate to promote an environment focused on healthy eating and physical activity.
The city also encourages residents to shop at the farmers' market by distributing weekly flyers.