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Local Farmers Markets Celebrate Start of Summer Season

June 7, 2018

Winter is finally over, and June is in full bloom! While local crops and produce are ripening, farmers and communities are gearing up for another Farmers Market season. New Jersey is proud to host a number of community markets during the month of June. Farmers Markets help residents gain access to fresh foods, support healthy communities, and increase revenue for local Jersey Fresh farms. Four markets in New Jersey are bringing fresh local food to the communities that need them most. The market accepts SNAP benefits, Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Vouchers, Senior vouchers and Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Vouchers (WIC). If you’re in Mercer County, Check out the Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market in Trenton  Location: 427 Greenwood Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08609 (behind the Trenton Transit Center) Open every Monday (except holidays) from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm from June 11th, 2018 – October 15th, 2018 The […]

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Trenton Families Retreat for a Healthy Weekend at Frost Valley YMCA

June 7, 2018

Thanks to Ready, Set, Healthy!™, a Novo Nordisk-Sponsored Program, 11 Trenton families spent Mother’s Day weekend at Frost Valley YMCA, in the Catskill Mountains of New York, enjoying a variety of indoor and outdoor activities focused on healthy eating, gardening and physical fitness. In total, 20 children and 11 adults, from two-months-old to age 67, took part in the weekend.   Families were hands-on in the greenhouse and garden, learning about soil conservation, composting, planting, mulching and growing. Everyone got their own flowers to plant and take home so they can watch them grow.   A bit of rain could not stop the kids from riding the zipline, which towers 120 feet in the air and requires walking up three flights of stairs to the launch. Children under age eight were safely harnessed into the flying squirrel, a kind of “mini-zip line” with a lower altitude.   Other outdoor adventures […]

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Babies in Strollers Help Set the Parent Leave Agenda

June 7, 2018

Nearly 150 babies in strollers flexed their political muscles with their parents during the Strolling Thunder New Jersey demonstration held at the Trenton Statehouse on Monday, May 21. The goal of the rally was to remind lawmakers to remember families at budget time. “We need more affordable child care and a more generous paid family leave law that would double time off from six weeks to 12 weeks after a child is born or adopted,” stated Cecilia Zalkind, President/CEO Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ), which sponsored the event. New Jersey is home to more than 300,000 children under age 3, with 66 percent living in families where both parents work. Young children develop best when they spend enough time with their parents to build strong bonds, but in 2016, fewer than half the babies with working parents received family leave benefits. “The YMCA is one of the largest […]

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Camden’s Night Gardens Kicks off 2018 Connect the Lots Schedule

June 7, 2018

Camden Night Gardens on Friday, May 18th marked the first event of the 2018 Connect the Lots summer season. The free event included live music from local bands, dance performances, art installations, fireworks, and a car show. A full line-up of programming and special events for the season was also announced. Connect the Lots offers a wide variety of activities to engage Camden residents and to reinvigorate parks and underutilized spaces in Camden neighborhoods,” said Kris Kolluri, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. The season’s other major events include Camden’s Got Talent, the city’s third annual talent show, on June 28that Dudley Grange Park; the Camden Peace Games, a citywide basketball fest, on July 28th at Von Nieda Park; and the Camden Jam: Arts and Music Festival on September 9th.  This year, Connect the Lotshas expanded its reach in underutilized spaces to include Camden’s waterways. The first annual “I Paddle Camden” […]

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Healthy U Celebrates 10 Years of Impact

June 7, 2018

It’s been 10 years since the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance kicked off Healthy U, a collaborative partnership program designed to combat childhood obesity through nutrition education, physical education and family involvement.  On Friday, May 18, more than 100 Healthy U Champions and partners from the New Jersey YMCAs and schools came together to celebrate 10 years of impact during the NJ YMCA State Alliance Healthy U Spring Symposium. The Symposium was held at the MetLife Stadium and included a formal program with remarks from Jonathan R. Pearson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey,and Dr. Darrin Anderson, Executive Director NJ YMCA State Alliance. Keynote Speaker Golden Martinez, founder of GetFocused.org talked about how we can be all Hero Makers through our interactions with children. Duncan […]

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Building a Culture of Health in NJ Conference Slated for Wednesday, November 28th at The Palace of Somerset

May 11, 2018

Plans are underway for the 2018 Building A Culture of Health in New Jersey Conference. The Conference will be held on Wednesday, November 28 at a new location, the Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Ave. Somerset, NJ. This year’s theme is “Thriving Communities Transform Lives.” More workshop details, as well as featured speakers, will be forthcoming over the coming months. Last year, more than 500 public health professionals, social workers, educators, dieticians, and community leaders from across the state attended the conference. The conference is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, New Jersey Department of Health, Rutgers University Family & Community Health Sciences, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, American Academy of Pediatrics—NJ Chapter, Atlantic Health System, Family Health Initiatives, Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Inc., New Jersey Health Initiatives, New Jersey Hospital Association, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, Partners for Health Foundation, Robert Wood […]

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April Statewide Corner Store Campaign Promoted Heart Healthy Options

May 11, 2018

During the month of April, nearly 500 New Jersey residents in Newark, Camden, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Trenton and Vineland benefited from nutrition lessons and health services at designated local corner stores—thanks to a joint effort between the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK), The Food Trust, and local partners. The events were covered by various media outlets including NJTV and News12.  In addition, freeholders, legislative staff andother local officials visited the sites to observe the importance of having heart healthy options embedded in the community. The Heart Smarts program is part of the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative and brings free nutrition lessons and free health screenings (blood pressure, BMI, stroke andheart disease assessments) right to community corner stores. As part of the program, residents also received up to $4 in Heart Bucks coupons that were redeemed for heart-healthy items in the stores, as well as other incentives […]

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Camden Pilots Bike Share Program

May 11, 2018

The decision by the Camden City Council to try out bike sharing for an four-month trial period generated a multitude of media coverage, both local and national, print and TV. The bicycle service is provided by a company called “ofo” that introduced bike sharing to San Francisco and Beijing, among many other cities. According to ofo, some of its partner cities have seen short-distance car trips (under three miles) reduced by as much as 44 percent because residents opt to hop a bike instead. All it takes is a Smartphone app—to find and unlock a bike—and $1.00 per hour for the ride. Bike Share launched officially on May 2 with representatives from Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, the City of Camden, Camden County and Get Healthy Camden assembling at Roosevelt Plaza Park. “The Camden Bike Share will be an extremely affordable, convenient, and fun way for residents and visitors to get around and see […]

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New Brunswick Ciclovia Study Tour Imparts Practical Wisdom

May 11, 2018

New Brunswick Ciclovia Study Tour Imparts Practical Wisdom “Start at your own pace, get it right, expand along the way.” That slogan summarizes the advice received by participants in the first-ever New Brunswick Ciclovia Study Tour, which was open to organizations and municipalities across the state curious about starting a Ciclovia, an open streets initiative in their community. Seventeen representatives gave up their Saturday to learn about important aspects of developing and implementing a Cicloiva event such as: the logistics, marketing and community and business partnerships that contribute to a successful Open Streets initiative. Mayor James Cahill kicked off the Study Tour by welcoming the participants, presenters and volunteers and explaining what Ciclovia means to the New Brunswick community by emphasizing all the partners’ commitment to promoting community health. Charles Brown of the Rutgers University- Voorhees Transportation Center closed out Saturday’s learning session by emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusiveness […]

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YMCA Healthy Kids Day

May 11, 2018

On Saturday, April 21st, the YMCA of Vineland participated along with other Y’s across the country in Healthy Kids Day. This year’s theme was “Awaken Summer Imagination.” Our Y wants to ensure all kids awaken their summer imaginations through healthy eating habits and physical activity. Because when a child is happy, healthy, motivated and excited something amazing is inevitably going to result. As children grow and reach their true potential, they can accomplish great things. Healthy Kids Day encourages youth and families to awaken summer imagination andthis cannot be done without proper nutrition. This year, our Healthy Kids Day event included a community art mural, STEM projects, a 30ft inflatable obstacle course, as well as, an obstacle course including basketball and soccer and swim time for parents and children. Over 25 local “healthy” vendors participated, handing out information and fun giveaways! Two local ShopRite’s participated with their Registered Dietitians and […]

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