In Burlington City, a community of just under 10,000 residents, the Opportunity League (“O” League) is leading this two-year initiative that aims to address food insecurity within the city’s first-ward, New Yorkshire neighborhood by developing a cross-sector community coalition, an educational pathway for youth and young adults, and by opening a full-service grocery store. As the Burlington City Food Access Network (BCFAN), school administrators, law enforcement, libraries, municipal agencies, the Burlington County Health Department and business and other community partners are sharing data every month and have identified employment, income, education and food insecurity as priority areas for improving community health. The most recent data available indicates two of the four grocery stores in Burlington City are closed, and the city’s two remaining stores operate in inconvenient locations for families who lack access to reliable transportation. The BCFAN partners are developing a business plan for the grocery store and college-level certification programs around culinary arts and customer service; establishing formal agreements with the school district, social service agencies and potential employers, and developing an annual community fundraising event. By the end of this project, the BCFAN coalition will have advanced health equity in New Yorkshire by collaborating across sectors and making better use of data to inform decisions that can improve the health of everyone in the community. Through this project, Burlington City is one of 10 New Jersey communities to receive a suite of tools that include a community data dashboard developed by City Health Dashboard. Click here to view the City Health Dashboard for this community.
Burlington City is one of 10 New Jersey communities supported through the NJHI: Small Communities Forging Hyperlocal Data Collaboratives initiative. Meet the 10 South Jersey communities and hear partners such as school districts, residents, libraries, non-profit organizations, health care, arts and culture, and others share their aspirations for improving health for everyone.
Take a look at this video introduction to the Burlington City Food Access Network, produced by interns from the Opportunity League:
Browse news coverage about this work:
Villages Community Marketplace Celebrates Groundbreaking in Burlington City, NJ
MidJersey.News and NewJerseyBrief/Walker, D. (2022, March 5).
New Business to Fill South Jersey Food Desert City with Groceries and More
Cherry Hill Courier-Post and Burlington County Times/Comegno, C. (2022, March 11).