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East, North Hawai‘i Celebrates Certified Blue Zones Communities 

January 4, 2020, 5:36 PM HST
* Updated January 5, 11:13 AM
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The East Hawai‘i and North Hawai‘i communities celebrated becoming named Certified Blue Zones Communities Saturday, joining only 18 other communities with this designation across the country.

The community celebration in Waimea drew a crowd with live music, free healthy food samples and a congratulatory program acknowledging community members dedicated to well-being.

Brought to Hawai‘i by HMSA, Blue Zones Project is a community-led initiative with a mission to enhance the well-being of Hawai‘i’s people by continually improving the environments where we live, work and play. Through dedication of community leaders and support of the Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i Island team, the efforts to make healthy choices easily available have proven successful and have resulted in this milestone.

Overall, the initiative has engaged nearly 35,000 individuals in these two communities, encouraging healthier choices. Through the work of community members and partnerships, Blue Zones Approved grocery stores have seen an increase in sales of produce and water and Blue Zones Project Approved schools have experienced improved compliance with state wellness guidelines for children. This has also resulted in a decrease in disciplinary incidents and reduction in chronic absenteeism, according to a School Quality Survey).

Mayor Harry Kim congratulated the communities on their dedication.

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“Our goal has always been to make Hawai‘i a nice place to live. Not just the sense of place, but for us as people and families, for a healthy lifestyle,” Kim said. “I consider this community certification to be a really great thing for all of us. Blue Zones Project represents the lifestyle we strive for on Hawai‘i Island. I congratulate the Blue Zones Project team and the residents of Hawai‘i Island for working toward this and participating in improving wellness in the community.”

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