ANTIGONISH: Eleven non-profit community groups and organizations in Antigonish town and county will receive funding for their proposed projects, which will support health priorities in the area.

Wellness Fund grants are offered each year to advance community health board priorities using a population health-based approach. These funds support work to address the social determinants of health; the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. Wellness Fund grants are made possible through annual funding to Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) from the Department of Health and Wellness.

Colleen Cameron, a representative with the Antigonish Poverty Reduction Coalition, said she is pleased her project will receive a grant related to the Coalition’s work on understanding poverty.

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“Nova Scotia now has the third-highest provincial child poverty rate and the highest rate in Atlantic Canada,” she said. “Wellness funding from the Antigonish Town and County Community Health Board will assist the coalition to work with communities to help understand why and how children and families experience poverty in order to identify strategies to reduce poverty.”

Cameron talked more about the project during a cheque presentation ceremony to recipients at the Antigonish Peoples’ Place Library on Monday.

Philip Girvan, chair of the Antigonish Town and County Community Health Board, says it’s important to share the work the board is doing and how the community can be involved in that work.

“Wellness Funds help to address the community health priorities that have been identified by people in our area,” he said. “These priorities are noted in our Collaborative Community Health Plan. All these projects will contribute to a more robust, healthier Antigonish.

“On behalf of all Community Health Board members, I would like to thank all of the applicants who took the time to apply for funding. The Community Health Board is very pleased to be able to fund community health initiatives and looks forward to hearing from these groups as their projects move forward.”

The Wellness Fund program is a provincial program for non-profit groups working to improve health in their communities and addressing the health priorities identified by the community health boards in their local community health plan. In Antigonish, these priorities are poverty, food security, early childhood development and social inclusion.

For more information about the Wellness Fund Program or the Community Health Board (CHB), speak to a CHB member or contact Patrick Mullally, CHB Coordinator, at 902-867-4500 ext. 4272 or e-mail: Patrick.mullally@nshealth.ca.