Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

Salem County hosted its annual fair August 4-7. Our true county fair draws thousands of visitors over a four-day run. The Salem County fair is unique, its an agricultural fair with activities for everyone – pig scramble, dog show, skillet throwing contest, tractor pulls, horse show, 4H displays, best of show for fruits, veggies, and livestock. The fair is a showcase of what of our county is!

3806652718_9a8abfe83c_z

With the large number of visitors to the fair, we decided to target the crowd with a healthy lifestyle display. Our fair booth hosted free blood pressure screenings, apples, oranges, jump ropes, healthy cookbooks and educational information. The biggest hit of our booth was the “Eat This, Exercise That” and “Rethink Your Drink” displays.

IMG_0123 (2)

IMG_0651 (2)

The “Eat This, Exercise That” display showed how in the past 20 years our portion sizes have grown and how much exercise it would take to burn off the calories. The kids were surprised that to burn off that chocolate chip cookie, they would have to wash a car for 1 hour and 20 minutes. The “Rethink Your Drink” display showed the sugar content of popular drinks.

FullSizeRender (29)

Free Apples and Oranges!

To reinforce the “Rethink your Drink” display, we had a sugar guessing game. Everyone was invited to guess how many teaspoons of sugar was in their drink.  The bags of sugar were a great hands on aid for the kids and parents to get a real visual of what they are drinking! Everyone was surprised by the amounts of sugar and walked away rethinking their drinks.

IMG_0655 (2)

IMG_0656 (2)

FullSizeRender (30)

Sierra Mist 29 grams of sugar = 7 teaspoons of sugar Brisk Ice Tea 20 grams of sugar = 5 teaspoons of sugar

The fair was a success!

IMG_20150804_155112 (4)

IMG_0654 (2)

 

 

If you want to read more about our unique county fair, follow the link: http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2015/08/5_reasons_the_salem_county_fair_remains_such_a_pop.html

Bike Racks and Healthy Food Will Improve Community Health in Somerset County

Healthier Somerset presented the last of its nutrition seminars last week. Children and adults of all ages attended the Bound Brook session, which featured fun and informative games about nutritious foods, smoothie and salad demonstrations and sampling, and information about public transportation options.

EmPoWER Somerset and Zufall Health Centers partnered with NJ SNAP-Ed to plan and implement the seminars.  RideWise TMA presented the transportation information and provided bus tickets purchased with ShapingNJ grant funds.

Our Complete Streets component is moving along nicely. Bound Brook, the most recent of the three boroughs to adopt the program, will install its just-delivered bike racks shortly.

We think the bike racks look like little robots!

More good news — Manville has adopted a “Complete Streets” policy! They will receive their bike racks soon.

We’re now at 7 municipalities (one-third of Somerset County) that have passed a resolution of support for the program.  Our final ShapingNJ grant partner, Somerville, will vote on a Complete Streets resolution at its meeting on Tuesday, September 8.  We’ll be there to support passage of the resolution!

Achievement Unlocked: Expansion of the Healthy Corner Store Network and Healthy U in Atlantic City

Atlantic City is turning over a new leaf! The community has voiced its opinion and the verdict is in—healthy eating and active living are of utmost importance. Six corners stores have signed up to participate in the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative! A&B Food Market, Boom Supermarkets, Cedar Basic Foods  (1700 Baltic Ave.), Cedar Dollar Plus, Cedar Food Market VIII , K&K Gift and Grocery, and La Abundancia have all taken the first step to provide healthier food and beverage options. Staff at the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA will be providing free training to corner store owners on how to properly purchase and display fresh fruits and vegetables, market healthier foods, and conduct product placement seminars.

The Atlantic City School District was not to be outdone by local corner stores. New York Avenue School has signed up to participate in the YMCA’s Healthy U Program. Healthy U is a program aimed at preventing childhood obesity through improved nutrition, increased physical activity, and parental involvement. Results show improvement in key health measurements including increased physical activity and healthier eating.

Moving forward, the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA hopes to partner with Atlantic City’s Family Success Centers to expand the effort through community ambassadors. As where work is moving forward, weaving the project throughout the fabric of the community will be key to achieve sustainability.

P.L.A.A.Y. time with our community partners!

The P.L.A.A.Y. (Promoting Lifelong Activity among Adults and Youth) Shaping NJ Grant is pleased to have the following partners.  This blog post is a focus on our partners:

20150613_110615 Burlington Health Dept Pic

  • Burlington County Health Department, Dr. Holly Funkhouser, Public Health Officer and Aditi Bothra, Community Health Educator. The health department plays vital role in the overall health of the community in Burlington County New Jersey. The C.H.I.P. (Community Health Improvement Plan) for Burlington County includes the P.L.A.A.Y grant. This partnership provides direct communication with the community and an avenue to produce positive community health outcomes and to promote a culture of Health.

20150613_110717 Willingboro Rec Dept Pic

  • Willingboro Recreation & Parks Department, Kendall Brunson, Director and our home town hero. This department is committed to promoting health, wellness and fitness in Willingboro, New Jersey. The JF Kennedy Center located at 429 JF Kennedy Way houses a variety of wellness and fitness activities for the entire family. This partnership provides an opportunity to work and partner with city officials regarding the health and wellness of the community.

IMG_2614

20150613_111635 - Willingboro High School Drumline

  • Pi Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. The sorority is dedicated to community service and promoting wellness. The sorority’s 2014-2018 international focus is “Launching New Dimensions of Service℠ which includes 1. Educational Enrichment, 2. Health Promotion, 3. Family Strengthening, 4. Environmental Ownership and 5. Global Impact.” Pi Mu Omega chapter of AKA is active in the community and fulfilling the mission of the sorority. This partnership offers community involvement and a direct local connection with people that live in Burlington County.

20150613_100741 Willingboro Fire Department Pic

  • G3 Health & Fitness, Cynthia Carpenter and Victoria Goyins. G3 offers a youth fit club for boys and girls 8 to 12 years old. This program includes fitness, fun and an opportunity to try new foods. The motto is “Get Moving, Get Knowledge, Get Healthy & Strong”. G3 programs are offered at the JF Kennedy Center in Willingboro, New Jersey. This partnership offers a direct connection with youth and families that live and play in Burlington County.

20150613_110702 G3 Health & Fitness

IMG_2640 G3 Fitness Hula Hoop

  • Chef Delilah Winder and Chef Dante Foggy – Both chefs are Food Network Champions and Winners! The chefs are an asset to our nutrition component of the grant. The chefs help us to reach people of all ages and provide expert food knowledge on how to create delicious healthy food without added sugar, salt or fat. During our cooking demonstrations participants learn how to turn avocados in to chocolate pudding, fresh fruit in to cool smoothies and beans in to a easy to make hummus.

IMG_2656 Chef Dante

IMG950352

Oh, We’re (more than) Halfway There!

(Written by Allison Smith, RD, ShopRite of Lincoln Park) We’re actually way more than halfway to completing our grant project.  The two main projects were completing food environment audits for each food establishment in Lincoln Park and building a 1/2 mile walking path at Lynn Park.  So far, with the help of our intern, Wincy, we have completed 14 out of the 16 food environment audits.

Food Environment Audits

Food Environment Audits

Of those completed, one was a supermarket, one was a small grocery store, three were delis or small specialty stores, and nine were food service establishments/restaurants.  What’s really exciting is that as a result of the audits, the owner of Wolfson’s Market, a small grocery store, has agreed to work with us to promote new healthy options to encourage healthy eating to customers.

Wolfson's Market, Lincoln Park

Wolfson’s Market, Lincoln Park

This is really a win-win situation for the town and for the business owner because it will support public health efforts and improve sales.

The walking path in Lynn Park is well on its way to completion with the help of Lincoln Park’s public works department, and once it is finished there will be a celebration!  It feels like we are really on our way to completing the projects we set our goals on last winter!

Lynn Park, Lincoln Park

Lynn Park, Lincoln Park

Lynn Park, Lincoln Park

Lynn Park, Lincoln Park

In other news, this past Sunday marked the first farmers’ market hosted by Lincoln Park in collaboration with Montville Township.  Although not part of the ShapingNJ grant, it’s very exciting to have our first local farmers’ market for the two communities.

Farmers' Market

Farmers’ Market

The market is held at the Towaco train station on Sundays from 9am-2pm.  Last weekend ten vendors participated and hundreds of people attended.  It was a great turn out and really exciting for the community!