Taking Steps for Healthy Elizabeth

In 2015 Shaping Elizabeth realized it was important to “spread our wings” a little and move out into the broader community.  Over the last 2 years we learned that health eating was affected by several variables one of which was access to stores with healthy options at affordable prices.  Although the City of Elizabeth has not been designated a “Food Dessert” Community Commons mapping (See Food environment Map) indicates most of Elizabeth residents have limited access to healthy food and the Elizabethport area has no healthy retail options.  These communities are served by corner stores and Bodegas. Our Corner Store Initiative will identify stores in 3 designated areas of Elizabeth “Midtown”, Elizabethport and Bayway.  All have low economic environments with limited access to healthy retail options. We will map: all stores, WIC stores, schools and low-income housing projects and choose stores close to schools or housing authorities with a focus on WIC stores.  Our goal is to choose 3 stores in 2015 to partner with.  The stores will sign a Memorandum of Understanding and chose to add 4 healthy choices along with marketing materials and education on healthy eating for the community. Lack of physical activity is another concern for Elizabeth Residents.  Through discussions with community members and leaders along with data there are several factors we will try to impact with our Play Streets project. People are unaware of the resources in Elizabeth including recreation centers, parks and special activities.  Adults have very little leisure time.  Community Commons mapping (No Leisure Time Ma) shows over 31% of the community indicate they have no leisure time.  In order to increase activity and engage people in the conversation 4 play streets are planned for June-September.  We will target one play street in each of our target areas and schedule 1 activity at a recreation center or park.  At each event we will engage with a minimum of 75 families.  Through fun, education and social media we hope to impact physical activity by increased usage of Elizabeth parks and recreation centers. Elizabeth Food EnviornmentNo Leisure Time

Alane McCahey, Michael Johnson, Mark Colicchio and Corey Wu-Jung had a great learning experience at the NJ Corner Store Training.

Alane McCahey, Michael Johnson, Mark Colicchio and Corey Wu-Jung had a great learning experience at the NJ Corner Store Training.

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