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New Jersey Summer Meals for Kids: 2020 Snapshot

– The New Jersey Summer Meals for Kids: 2020 Snapshot is Hunger Free New Jersey’s analysis of NJ Department of Agriculture data regarding participation in two federal child nutrition programs: the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option program.
Hunger Free New Jersey determined that while New Jersey communities have steadily expanded summer meal service over the past several years, in 2019, communities only reached about one quarter of low-income students, leaving far too many without this critical nutrition that can help them return to school in the fall ready to learn.

According to this 2020 snapshot, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts, non-profits and their community partners served free meals to twice as many eligible children as in 2019 and that for the first time ever, New Jersey exceeded a national benchmark of reaching 40 percent of children who receive free or low-cost school lunch.

Click here to read more and to download the report.

NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan

– Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a term used to describe all types of traumatic experiences that occur in individuals under the age of 18, including: 1) emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; 2) emotional and physical neglect and 3) exposure to violence, substance abuse, mental illness, or parental incarceration.

To make New Jersey a trauma-informed and healing-centered state, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has released the NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan. This plan, developed with support from the New Jersey Funders ACEs Collaborative of the Burke Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation and the Turrell Fund, explains key concepts to understand ACEs and outlines five core strategies to reduce — and ultimately prevent — ACEs in New Jersey.

Read the NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan here.

New Jersey Future Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit

– Green infrastructure can improve communities by reducing flood risk, returning clean water to the ground, cleaning and cooling the air, and aiding in pedestrian safety. To help communities better understand the impact of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection stormwater rules that go into effect on March 2, 2021, New Jersey Future has updated its Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit. The updates will help communities work with developers, organize the approval of green infrastructure projects and more.

Access the toolkit
Browse additional resources provided by New Jersey Future

The Road Forward: Health Equity in New Jersey During and After the Pandemic, a webinar panel presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

– The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound and lasting impact on neighborhoods, businesses, and people throughout the country and in New Jersey. When New Jersey eventually shifts focus from relief to recovery, plans must address the heightened impact on communities that were already lacking access to opportunities for good health before the pandemic. This webinar recording features RWJF Director of New Jersey Grantmaking, Maisha Simmons, along with a cross section of leaders as they discuss strategies and solutions needed for post-pandemic health equity in New Jersey.

Panelists include:

View the recording

The Planner’s Playbook: A Community-Centered Approach to Improving Health and Equity

– While past planning practices have helped create inequities, planners today have the power to help solve them, promoting a society that gives everyone a fair and just opportunity to thrive. ChangeLab Solutions has developed The Planner’s Playbook: A Community-Centered Approach to Improving Health & Equity to provide guidance and resources, concrete steps and real-world examples to planners, decision makers and other practitioners who wish to center equity in the design and function of their communities.

Download the guide

2020 New Jersey ALICE Report

– ALICE is an acronym used to collectively describe households that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These community members live paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford basic necessities or to set aside savings for an emergency. ALICE is employed in roles such as child care workers, cashiers, gas attendants, home health aides and restaurant servers, according to United for ALICE. The latest ALICE in New Jersey: A Financial Hardship Study indicates 1.2 million households were in financial distress prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 report, interactive graphics and a compilation of resources about the impact of the pandemic on this population are a resource for learning more about ALICE in New Jersey.

View the Report and Interactive Graphics
Visit the United for ALICE COVID-19 and ALICE web page

Factsheet Series: The Intersection of Community Development and Health

– The Build Healthy Places Network, in collaboration with NeighborWorks America, has released a series of factsheets to address the question “What makes community development a great partner in health?” Exploring the intersection of community development and mental health, social isolation and homelessness, the factsheets shares statistics, evidence for action and guidance on engaging new partners in addressing these issues, particularly amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Download the factsheet series

Public Health Reaching Across Sectors (PHRASES) Strategic Messaging, Collaboration and Communications Toolkits

– PHRASES, a partnership of de Beaumont Foundation and The Aspen Institute, is designed to improve the ability of public health professionals to communicate the impact and value of the public health field to other sectors in language that resonates and fosters alliances. PHRASES has developed a suite of toolkits for public health professionals to motivate the public and other sectors to support public health. This collection includes sample messaging, “winning words,” practical tools, and approaches for telling strategic stories.

Access the PHRASES toolkits

NJ Resiliency Coalition Community

– Experiencing hardships as a child can cause many problems as children grow into adulthood. The NJ Resiliency Coalition Community is a place where people living and working in New Jersey can come together to help prevent adverse childhood experience (ACEs) and create a trauma-informed, healthier state. Created by the NJ ACEs Collaborative partners — The Burke Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation and Turrell Fund — in addition to the NJ Department of Children and Families Office of Resilience, the Center for Health Care Strategies and the NJ Education Association, the NJ Resiliency Coalition Community aims to promote collaboration and build cross-sector awareness of existing efforts to reduce the impact of ACEs on New Jersey families.

Visit the NJ Resiliency Coalition Community web site

City Health Dashboard City Types Framework

– The nation’s small and midsize cities (50,000 to 500,000 population) face many of the same health issues that larger municipalities do. Their challenges don’t get the same attention or resources, yet these cities are home to far more people. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, City Health Dashboard has developed the new City Types framework to help small and midsize cities’ leaders and their partners understand how health disparities in their communities are driven by social factors such as income inequality and rent burden. The tool defines small and midsize communities into 10 city types: Emerging Cities, Small Stable-Size Cities, Big Metro Exurbs, Smaller Commuter Suburbs, Diverse Ring Cities, Latino-Predominant Enclaves, Working Towns, Regional Hubs, Small Industrial-Legacy Cities and College Cities.

Ten New Jersey communities – East Orange, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Passaic, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Trenton, Union City and Vineland – are featured in the framework.

Access the framework

Making Strides: 2020 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities

– The Safe Routes Partnership is a national nonprofit organization working to advance safe walking and rolling to and from schools and in everyday life, has developed state report cards that provide a snapshot of how supportive each state is of walking, bicycling, and physical activity for children and adults as of 2020. Accessible through an interactive map, the report cards primarily look at state policy, focusing on four key areas:

  • Complete Streets and Active Transportation Policy and Planning
  • Federal and State Active Transportation Funding
  • Safe Routes to School Funding and Supportive Practices, and
  • Active Neighborhoods and Schools

View report cards by state

View the recording and slide deck of Making Strides 2020: A Look at Our State Report Cards, presented by the Safe Routes Partnership. Participants explored how state policies and actions can create active, resilient and sustainable communities, and the changes the Partnership has seen since releasing its last set of state report cards in 2018.

Health Policy in Brief: A RWJF Collection

– The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation works with many organizations to analyze key issues affecting health in the United States. In the nation’s capital and at the state and local level, the Foundation uses its knowledge and the expertise of its partners to provide policymakers and other stakeholders with analysis, evidence, and potential policy approaches that reach across the political spectrum. To help address the needs of busy policymakers and administration officials, RWJF has developed a collection of health policy briefs that strive to explain key policy issues in a concise format. Within the collection are healthy policy briefs regarding the Foundation’s current areas of focus: Housing and Health, Child and Family Well-Being, Health Care Coverage and Access, and Healthy Food Access.

Browse the collection