Efforts to help residents of Asbury Park taste and develop an appetite for healthier foods and provide opportunities to get more physical activity are key goals for the Alliance for a Healthier Asbury Park coalition.
In Spring 2017, the Community Affairs and Resource Center (CARC) organized its annual community health fair in partnership with the Asbury Park School District. This is the fourth year CARC has organized a health fair, and the second year in partnership with the School District. The Fair took place after school at a great West Side location near the intersection of Bangs Avenue and Prospect Avenue, near MLK Jr. Middle School, Barack Obama Elementary School, the McNish Parent Center, and several multi-unit housing developments. The police blocked off the street and many Alliance coalition members came out to setup tables and support this community event, distributing health information and resources along with many other vendors and community partners.
Delicious, healthy, kid-friendly snacks such as apple slices, baby carrots, grapes, fruit cups, and bottled water were provided by Sodexo Food Services.
The Kula Café prepared a fresh and tasty green salad with tomatoes, red onions, and beans.
Residents could also sample an Orzo Pasta & Veggie Salad and two types of fruit and veggie smoothies, all provided by CARC.
This year’s health fair included several sessions of Zumba and yoga, sports activities, as well as a bounce house and face painting. The music was provided by DJ Ruben Bray.
Some of the elementary school teachers from the community demonstrated fun STEM activities for the children and a raffle was held to give away bicycles, scooters, bullet blenders and grocery store gift cards.
“We are very pleased with how this event has grown. This year, there were over 30 vendors present, including health agencies, community agencies and schools and more than 200 children, parents and community members came to the event. We’re already looking forward to next year,” said Aina Holm Scheller, Program Manager of CARC. CARC has received a grant from the NJ Department of Health to provide the “Eat Healthy – Be Active Community Workshop program,” and was encouraged to organize a community event during April, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health recognizes as National Minority Health Month.
~~Contributors to this blog include Aina Holm Scheller and Ericka Uter of CARC, and Lisa Lee of EZ Ride ~~
For more info about CARC, visit www.carcnj.org. Browse previous posts from the Alliance for a Healthier Asbury Park to learn more about the coalition’s work. Contact the Alliance for a Healthier Asbury Park on Facebook, or project director Lisa Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org, to become a partner.