Convincing kids and parents to change not only their eating habits, but also their purchasing behavior can be a challenge — but it’s one that Rutgers Health Communications students took on last fall. Rutgers Assistant Professor of Health Communication, Dr. Jennifer Warren’s undergraduate Health Communication class partnered with the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Trenton last fall to create a healthy eating initiative at corner stores and bodegas in Trenton. Student winners for coming up with the most unique initiatives were recently announced by the Partnership.
The winning projects included:
The first two marketing strategies have been implemented by NJPHK-Trenton and the Healthy Corner Store Network.
“This announcement represents the essence of service learning and community engagement. Students collaborated with community organizations and their constituents to learn about pressing health issues and to produce community friendly products that are useful now,” Dr. Warren explained. “My students worked hard on this Trenton-based community engagement project to increase health literacy regarding the prevention of obesity at the communal, family and individual levels. Truly, to have some teams’ health communication projects chosen for implementation in bodegas is just awesome. It really makes all the hard work that service learning projects worth it!”
Marissa Davis, project manager, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Trenton, echoed similar sentiments and described the students as committed to the task at hand.
“New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids–Trenton welcomed the opportunity to work with the Health Communication class on our Trenton Healthy Corner Store effort,” Davis said. “The class was dedicated and used their class time to visit Trenton twice during the semester. As part of the project, they toured our local corner stores and bodegas and conducted a focus group with Trenton parents about their purchasing habits.”
“Together, the class and residents brainstormed ways to increase healthier food purchases made by children and their parents. With nearly one in two Trenton children overweight or obese, this real world experience will prove invaluable to the Trenton community and the students who participated on the project.”SHARE: