A Holistic Approach to Health

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action, Round 2 Healthier Perth Amboy

As Perth Amboy parents and children are hustling in preparation for “Back to School,” the Healthier Perth Amboy coalition can announce that over the past few months we have made their city a healthier place to live, learn, work, play and pray.

A major component of our Blueprint addresses the existing and potential opportunity for residents to choose walking and biking over taking their cars. We decided to take a multi-faceted approach to this arduous goal:

  • First, we have supported Perth Amboy’s local Green Team in their mission to receive the NJ Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant award. SRTS encourages children to walk and bicycle to school. By gaining support from the Healthier Perth Amboy coalition stakeholders, the Green Team has a better chance of receiving the grant for a Perth Amboy elementary school. Learn more about New Jersey SRTS grants here.
  • We have also pinpointed eight locations to install bike racks and will install them shortly, so residents have an easier time traveling without a car.
  • In a research-based approach to increase outdoor exercise in our city, the Emerging Leaders have finished conducting their walkability assessment using a geo-location app provided by the Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability (CUES). This data will be used to develop a final plan, which will be presented to the city.
Every Thursday, the Emerging Leaders from the Jewish Renaissance Foundation set up a “Smooth-Topia” to combat food deserts.

Another component of our Blueprint is increasing access to nutritious food, which is difficult, but with the teamwork our coalition possesses, it is possible:

  • Our leadership team invested funds for the Emerging Leaders to launch an entrepreneurial project combatting food deserts.
  • The Royal Garden Club’s Community Vegetable Garden made repairs to its irrigation system that in turn, will enable the garden to provide even more fresh produce to a local food pantry. In addition, we have purchased the supplies to build a new community garden.

Our team has realized that multiple solutions may be necessary to combat a singular problem. We hope to use this method in future initiatives. In the meantime, we are happy to see parents sending their children to school in an even healthier Perth Amboy. Connect with us to learn more and partner in this work. 

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.
Rebecca Pauley