Playground Completion Marks One-Year Milestone for Healthy Cities Cleveland Program.
A year ago, a snack for each of Amber Sollars' five kids was a bag of chips. Now that Morgan Stanley's Healthy Cities program is established in Cleveland, her kids benefit from regular fresh produce, wellness screenings and fitness programs. Every month she and her children take steps to ensure their long-term health.
“It's hard shopping for healthy food. There are a lot of mouths to feed. You can get something healthy but it is double the price of unhealthy food," says Sollars, whose family is one of thousands in Cleveland to benefit from the program. “Now, I know the healthy food is going to be there. Family night and the food bank is definitely something we all look forward to."
Running around a newly-built playground will also be added to the list, once Morgan Stanley and community volunteers finish construction at Griot Village.
Healthy Cities Cleveland launched in June last year in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and other local non-profits. Since then the initiative has delivered over 440,000 healthy meals; more than 900 health screenings; regular fitness and play programs for over 2,000 kids and safe play spaces for 500 children.
Morgan Stanley's Healthy Cities initiative, which, in collaboration with nonprofit partners including Feeding America and KaBOOM!, seeks to streamline the wellness, nutrition and play resources that can underpin a child's healthy start in life. The goal is to bring nonprofits together, using local food banks as a hub for community-led health-related initiatives.
In addition to Cleveland, since 2014 Morgan Stanley has implemented Healthy Cities programs in Newark, Chicago, Oakland, Houston, New Orleans, London and Mumbai. So far, the program has served 1.3 million nutritious meals, conducted 4,500 medical screenings for children and built safe play spaces for 7,000 kids. Morgan Stanley employees play an integral role in sustaining this integrated programming, volunteering more than 9,100 hours of service since launch.
John Dorotics, a physical education teacher at the Willson School in Cleveland, says he's been teaching in the city for 18 years and dreaming of a program that “would bring community to our school. So when I heard about Morgan Stanley's Healthy Cities, I immediately thought, this is it, this is the program we could do. It provides the healthy foods our families need, the facilities for their kids and them to play, and health screens for both the parents and the kids."
“It's created a bond," he adds. “It shows the kids we care."