Launching Healthier Somerset’s Nutrition Seminars!

After months of planning, Healthier Somerset is just a few weeks away from launching the nutrition seminars that are a key focus of our ShapingNJ grant activities.

EmPoWER Somerset and Zufall Health Centers have partnered with NJ SNAP to plan and implement the seminars, which will focus on summer salad and smoothie recipes. Our seminars begin in Somerville on June 23.

Here is a complete schedule and listing of locations:

  • June 23 Emmanuel Church, Somerville 12:00 – 1:00 pm
    (Spanish translator present)
  • June 25 Ben Maggio Center, Bound Brook 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
    (Spanish translator present)
    Click here for more information:   Nutrition Workshop Flyer
  • June 30 Emmanuel Church, Somerville 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • July 16 Manville Library, Manville 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • July 20 Manville Library, Manville 11:00 am – 12:00 noon

EmPoWER Somerset has designed vouchers for distribution to attendees at the seminars.  The vouchers are good for $15 toward the purchase of fruits, vegetables, and eggs at four vendors in farmers markets in our three target communities of Bound Brook, Manville, and Somerville.  The vouchers are printed in a bilingual version (English and Spanish, and a total of 400 will be distributed.  We are grateful to our participating farmers: Country Stand Farm, Norz Hill Farm, Malanga Farms, and Whistling Wolf Farm.

  farmers market organic signfarmers market stand1

Conducting the seminars and distributing the vouchers fulfills a major piece of our proposal.  We’ve learned along the way that communication and cooperation have been essential to achieving our goals, as well as flexibility and ingenuity when the original plans sometimes have to be adapted.

The second part of our project – adoption of the “Complete Streets” policy in our three target communities – is proving to be more challenging.  “Complete Streets” has been a primary policy objective of Healthier Somerset since 2010.  In all, five Somerset County municipalities have adopted “Complete Streets,” with the most recent municipality (Far Hills Borough) signing on after attending a Healthier Somerset policy seminar.

One of our three communities is preparing to vote on a resolution of support, and another has formed an advisory committee to study the issue.  We are still conducting outreach and information activities in the remaining town, and hopefully we will see progress there soon.

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