New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Community Partners Helping Atlantic City with Health Goals and Wellness Plans
November 20, 2017 / Care AC

As a Care AC coalition partner, Jewish Family Service is excited to be able to offer medically underserved individuals living in Atlantic City the opportunity to create a personal wellness plan in collaboration with CareAC’s Corner Store and Food Voucher Initiatives. Funding from a Care AC mini-grant, combined with other grant funding, helps support JFS’ incentive program where staff help consumers identify health goals and action plans related to healthy eating, exercise, and sleep and stress reduction practices. Participants can get fresh fruit and vegetable vouchers that can be redeemed at designated Atlantic City bodegas, which encourages participation and behavior change around healthy lifestyle choices.

Atlantic City residents have issues associated with hunger and food insecurity, which corresponds to the City’s high incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity

Testimonial from a program participant

Sara*, who is dealing with a number of significant medical and mental health issues, reported that she would like to drink healthier beverages, get more physical activity, learn about relaxation techniques, and receive healthy food voucher incentives. Initially, Sara scoffed at the $5.00 voucher, stating that she was not going to waste her time. The JFS nurse educator cajoled her into taking an inventory of what foods she already had in her kitchen and then going to the market. Sara bought cucumbers, scallions and peppers, applying the voucher toward her bill. The nurse educator then took her to the dollar store where she bought a bottle of salad dressing for $1.00. Sara, who did not know that she could buy salad dressing at the dollar store, was excited to get home and make pasta and cucumber salads using recipes the nurse educator had shared with her.

By leveraging resources and engaging community partners, this effort supports our overall goal of building a healthier Atlantic City. As we shared in our Blueprint for Action, Atlantic City was deemed a food desert without a proper grocery store within its City limits until recently. As a result, Atlantic City residents have issues associated with hunger and food insecurity, which corresponds to the City’s high incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity among its residents, and impacts the health of the City’s youth. Browse more of our Blueprint here

As our coalition has set a goal of nourishing the community, sharing this update among stakeholders who are medically underserved is paramount. To connect with the Care AC coalition and our partner, Jewish Family Service, regarding this work, follow our social media updates and reach out to our project director.

*Last name withheld for privacy.

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Project
Author
Sharon Simon
Organization
Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties