Salad Bars and Safer Streets in Trenton, NJ

The focus of New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids – Trenton is to prevent childhood obesity through the implementation of environmental and policy change.  Our leadership team is directed by the Trenton Area YMCA and Isles, Incorporated.We have been working to “make the healthy choice the easy choice” for our youth and their families for over a year, and plan to build upon our successes.

Let’s take a trip back to last year and recap what was accomplished in both the physical activity and nutrition strategies:

Last year, we proposed a physical activity strategy to team up with church congregants and hold walking audits to analyze the City’s streetscape around three public schools in Trenton, to identify possible improvements that could be made to turn the busy, vehicle-centric streets into safe Complete Streets that students and citizens could travel safely.

Below are some photos from those walking audits, where we found LOTS of improvements to be made!

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Overgrown foliage blocks the sidewalk and obstructs the motorist’s vision of pedestrians and vice versa.

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No handicapped-accessible ramp – NOT safe for wheelchairs/power chairs, strollers, etc!

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No designated parking shoulders for vehicles, so vehicles park directly on the sidewalk, obstructing pedestrians and blocking motorist’s view of pedestrians.

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Maybe the scariest find of the walking audits – This telephone pole is split wide enough to fit a head though!

A checklist was created from the walking audits to be fixed.  This year, we plan to fix those items on the checklist.

Also, last year we proposed a healthy nutrition strategy of implementing five wellness policies into active faith-based organizations around Trenton.  As a result, ministries and their congregations would have healthier food choices at church-based events, youth-based activities, child care centers and more.  The policies would also promote physical activity along with healthy nutrition.  We were successful in getting our wellness policies adopted and implemented at most of the activities run by these faith-based organizations.

This year, our healthy nutrition strategy is to install a salad bar into the cafeteria of Trenton Central High School – West Campus.  The salad bar will be stocked and maintained FREE OF CHARGE by the school’s food provider, and will introduce the students to healthier lunch options they haven’t had before.  We have installed salad bars in three (3) other public schools in the area, and have observed much success, so we are very excited to give these healthy options to another school!

We are very thankful to be able to implement our physical activity and nutrition strategies for a second time; stay tuned for updates!

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