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Wellness on the Menu for Trenton Community Organizations

April 25, 2013 | Community News, Trenton

Members of the Trenton Historic Development Collaborative enjoy a healthy breakfast at the April 25 Soaring to New Heights morning meeting

On April 25, the Shiloh Community Development Corporation’s (CDC) “Soaring to New Heights” monthly breakfast meeting featured something new on the menu: healthy food choices. The healthy breakfast items met the nutritional guidelines recommended by the new organizational wellness policy recently adopted by the Trenton Historic Development Collaborative (THDC), a coalition focused on economic redevelopment, safety and wellness in the city of Trenton.

As a THDC stakeholder organization, Shiloh CDC has agreed to incorporate healthy food and physical activity into their group activities. All other THDC organizations plan to do the same. With over 40 community organizations aligned under the THDC, the commitment to wellness can have far-reaching effects.

“Modeling healthy behavior is critical in the effort to reverse trends in childhood obesity,” explains Marissa Davis, NJPHK-Trenton project manager. “With organizations on board committed to wellness, healthy choices and physical activity can become the expected norm. The THDC wellness policy is a giant step in this direction.”

Any activities sponsored by the groups will feature healthy food choices and activity breaks. The wellness policy expressly defines the meaning of “healthy;” e.g., no more than 500 mg of sodium in foods, providing drinking water, using egg whites in place of whole eggs and turkey bacon instead of pork bacon.

Shannon O’Connor, AmeriCorps member serving as network assistant for NJPHK-Trenton, developed a toolkit of menu and activity ideas based on guidelines provided by ShapingNJ, the State partnership for nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention. Jerry Harris, Shiloh CDC executive director and active living co-chair of NJPHK-Trenton, was instrumental in bringing the policy to the THDC and working with the membership to make it fit the organization’s message and goals.

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