The Salem County Department of Health and Human Services Health Education Division is leading this project. We promote healthy changes throughout Salem County through speaking engagements, exercise programs, preventive health screenings, education, and wellness clinics.
As a previous recipient of the Shaping NJ Healthy Communities Grant, we were able to install a walking path at the Salem County Recreation Park in the Oldmans Township community. The existing walking path measures 1,200 feet which equals .22 of a mile. We celebrated this great addition to the community with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a community health awareness event. During the event, the community asked for a longer path, healthier options at the concession stand, and further improvement to the park.
Our goal is to expand the current walking path to .50 of a mile, install a bike rack and outdoor fitness equipment. Our healthy nutrition strategy is to implement point of purchase prompts and menu labeling in addition to adding healthier snack options at the concession stand. Currently, the concession stand does not offer fresh fruit, 100% juice, or nuts. We would like to see these options implemented into their selection along with nutrition facts. The nutrition fact board will be displayed on the counter being the first thing a customer would see. Our hope would be that the customer would choose the healthy bag of almonds over French fries or chips. Nutrition education at the concession stand will be essential in promoting healthy behavior. Our nutrition education plans include the use of visuals- snack item compared to the amount of time walking on the walking path to burn the snack off.
Salem County ranks #18 out of 21 counties in the state for healthy outcomes and provides less access to exercise opportunities when compared to other counties. We hope to improve our health outcomes and see a HEALTHY CHANGE in Salem County!