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Camden

AT A GLANCE:

Population:  77,344

Demographic Profile:
African American: 48%
Latino: 47%
White: 17%
Asian: 2%
Population under age 18:  31%

Income below the federal poverty line:  33.5%

Camden

Health and Wellness Expands to Additional Camden City Parks

This summer, children in East Camden will be able to play and engage in structured activities at four Camden parks, thanks to the addition of Stockton Park to the summertime programs run by the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties from June 30 through August 29.

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About

The city of Camden is the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey. Camden was originally incorporated as a city in 1828.Once a thriving center for manufacturing and industry, Camden, like most American cities, suffered a decline in the 20th century, losing both major employers and population. Currently, Campbell Soup Company and L-3 Communications (formerly Lockheed Martin) are among the city’s largest employers. The University District, adjacent to the downtown, is home to Camden County College, Rowan University, Rutgers University, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the Coriell Institute for Medical Research.

Childhood Obesity Challenges

According to the New Jersey Childhood Obesity Survey published by Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, a higher percentage of Camden’s public school children are overweight or obese compared with the national average. The survey provides some alarming statistics:

  • Almost half of the children in Camden do not eat fruits and vegetables as snacks daily and only 12 percent of children eat vegetables three times per day. Only a quarter of Camden’s households with children ages 3 to 18 have access at all times to healthy, affordable food.
  • Additionally, only 42 percent of Camden children ages 3 to 18 meet national physical activity guidelines and a third of children in the same age range spend more than two hours per day watching television, playing video or computer games during the week.
  • Camden’s Parkside and North Camden neighborhoods have the highest percentages of public school children who are overweight in the city.

Leadership

Co-Directors:

Tim Kerrihard, President & CEO, YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties

Mike Moynihan, Executive Director, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in Camden County

Project Manager:

Valeria Galarza, MS, CHES – New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Camden

Contact Project Manager to volunteer or learn more.

Strategies

NJPHK-Camden’s policy goals are to increase access to healthy food and create safe environments by focusing on four strategies:

Strategy #1: Partner with Camden city Public School District and Catholic Partnership Schools to adopt and implement school wellness policies that will improve opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity in Camden’s schools.

Strategy #2:  Targeting North Camden and Parkside neighborhoods, increase awareness about and access to farmers’ markets and community gardens and partner with corner stores to increase the healthy food options available to their customers.

Strategy #3: Increase opportunities for safe physical activity by revitalizing a local park in North Camden and Parkside Neighborhoods.

Strategy #4:  Create an agreement between the city of Camden and Camden city School District that will allow residents to use school recreational facilities for physical activity outside of normal school hours. 

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