Sustainability can be built through partnerships. Likewise, partnerships can be keys to success when working on health initiatives in underserved communities. Although many assume that guaranteeing the sustainability of a project means finding the resources to continue it “as is” beyond the grant period, ensuring sustainability really means making sure that the goals of the project continue to be met through activities that are consistent with the current condition.
As a continuation of work conducted last year, the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA has maintained a partnership with the Atlantic City Department of Health to engage corner stores to participate in the Food Trust’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative. This year, the Food Trust will be assisting the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA even further with the identification of WIC certified stores to encourage participation in the program. Julie Land, PE Teacher of Texas Avenue School will also be working with staff to connect with community stakeholders.
To expand the YMCA’s Healthy U program to reach more students, Julie Land will also be identifying interested school educators who can champion the program in other areas of the school district, as well as summer camps. As a partner in the project, the Vineland Health Department will work with Julie to ensure that impact is made. The Vineland Health Department has a Healthy Schools Champion who is trained in the YMCA’s Healthy U Program.