When the ShapingNJ grant kicked off in January of this year, we set to the task of getting the citizens of Atlantic City more active and more invested in their nutrition and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. In a city where the majority of residents are obese and chronically ill, have little access to fresh produce and maintain inactive, sedentary lifestyles, ourchallenge was a difficult one. As the grant period ended we were not even close to saying we were done with what we had set out to do. Over the summer months our team of health educators continued on with those efforts detailed and provided local children and adults with several opportunities for programming on nutrition and exercise. A few examples of our activities:
Throughout the summer we held a series of events, called Wiggles and Words, that provided preschool age children with a chance to get moving by taking story time to a new fun and very active place. Programing was held at the Atlantic City Salvation Army summer camp where children were exposed to different fresh produce and got to try and prepare unfamiliar veggies by making kale smoothies. We also held food demonstrations for the community garden clubs of Atlantic City. We taught gardeners/residents the financial benefit of gardening as well as the health benefits of low-calorie, low-fat preparation of fresh garden produce. We hope to continue our successful forward movement toward bettering the health of Atlantic City residents. With that being said, this is not a “final” report on accomplishments but merely an update. Our health educator team is currently creating new and exciting activities for events to come!