Recruiting potential partners to participate in our Choose Healthy Warren County programs has been moving along smoothly! The restaurant owners of Hackettstown were excited and very interested in learning more about the Healthy Menu Options program. After meetings with several owners explaining the program, 11 agreed to participate. They include: Stella G’s, Pandan Room, TOPO, Zaytun Mediterranean Grill & Cafe, Hackettstown Health Foods, Prickly Pear, Pasta Grill by Enzo, Bea McNally’s, Mezza House, Marley’s Gotham Grill, & Mama’s Cafe Baci. Some are even promoting their new creations already! Hackettstown BID director, Jim Sheldon, and his wife recently dined at the Pandan Room and learned about the upcoming program and new dishes. He and his events coordinator are planning on coming up with a strategy to promote the program further by encouraging the community to dine at these restaurants.
The same type of positive attitude have been found when reaching out to discuss the Mayors Wellness Campaign and Farmers Market Voucher Promotion. Municipalities who have already taken the pledge are in the brainstorming process of creating new events and activities that should take place sometime during the summer. Frelinghuysen is planning on doing a senior citizens walk on June 6th and Mayor Christopher Kuhn issued a formal proclamation at the April 15th twonship committee meeting. Washington Borough’s mayor is coordinating with a nutritionist/fitness instructor to create an event with different exercise classes. These events were used as a tool to encourage participation with municipalities how have yet to take the pledge. By showcasing these easy, fun, and creative events, hopefully it encourages other towns to jump on the bandwagon! Using the list of vendors provided by Jersey Fresh, each were contacted and the majority was more than excited to participate! They were looking for a way to draw in a larger customer base and being placed on a pocket map seemed like a great way to start. Assisting with the compilation of the map includes Albert Krouse from the county planning department and he will be the one to design the map itself.
Brenda Rosario, WCHD’s intern from Rutgers University, has also been a key participant in getting these programs off the ground and running. It has been her responsibility to gather a list of potential participants, set up meetings, conduct follow-ups, and compile information packets about each program to present to businesses. Without her help, the Choose Healthy Warren County program would not be possible!