Summer is here, and the Healthier Somerset ShapingNJ team is harvesting the fruit that’s grown from the seeds sown during the months of planning! We have presented three nutrition seminars, and the remaining two are scheduled for July 16 and July 20.
EmPoWER Somerset and Zufall Health Centers partnered with NJ SNAP to plan and implement the seminars, which focused on summer salad and smoothie recipes.
These photos are from our second nutrition seminar, held June 25 at the Ben Maggio Center in Bound Brook. Nineteen adults and six children attended. We distributed 16 farmer’s market vouchers, one for each of the family units present. The seminar was so well received that the Center invited us to come back and do an additional presentation there.
Along the way, we’ve become more efficient at preparing for and presenting the programs. Since all of the food used is fresh, shopping and food prep must be done only hours before the program is presented. Since the food is perishable, it must be consumed or distributed, rather than kept for the next program.
We’ve also been able to tie the nutrition and transportation components together nicely. At the end of the nutrition component of the seminar, our partner from RideWise gave a short presentation about the county buses and transportation in the area. RideWise distributed a bus ticket to each family unit, and we hope to purchase more tickets with remaining ShapingNJ grant funds to distribute at the remaining seminars.
More good news is that the borough of Bound Brook has adopted a “Complete Streets” policy! This makes them the sixth Somerset County municipality to pass a resolution of support for the program, and the 119th municipality/county to pass a resolution in New Jersey. They will now receive bike racks, which we hope to have installed by the end of August. Hopefully this will encourage our two remaining municipalities to take similar action!