In conducting a food environment and physical environment assessment for the Morristown community, it’s important Grow It Green Morristown has strong partners to help with collecting our information. Our reach only goes so far, so we rely on other groups that are also deeply ingrained within the community.
When considering partners for the effort, we thought of community groups that we’ve partnered with previously to provide access to fresh, local food. In particular, we reached out to groups that are focused on populations near our two sites in Morristown – The Urban Farm at Lafayette and the Early Street Community Garden. These community groups are interested in helping us gather this information because they are want to help their constituencies improve access to fresh, healthy food and physical activity.
Our first natural partner was the Morristown Neighborhood House. We have a great working relationship with them, providing gardening education and activities, as well as healthy eating tips, to children who attend their after-school and summer programming. We will be going to their facility during pick-up time to engage parents in our survey and provide them with a voucher to receive fresh produce from our farm.
We are also working with the Family Counseling & Guidance Program that is part of Atlantic Health. This group provides nutritional education to families who have recently immigrated to the area. We have had a long-standing relationship with them where their families volunteer at our Urban Farm and then receive a reusable grocery bag that they can fill up with fresh produce from our farm every week throughout the summer.
We also want to work with the Senior Housing Center next to the Early Street Community Garden to find out what opportunities residents there have for walking paths and obtaining fresh produce.