Glassboro-Camden Collaborative Learning on Food and Health Equity

NJHI 2020: Small Communities Forging Hyperlocal Data Collaboratives Glassboro Food and Health Equity Project

As one of the 10 NJHI Small and Mighty Communities grantees, the Glassboro team has leveraged their first year of work to secure additional support through the NJHI Community Collaborative Learning Fund, which is administered by Healthy Places by Design. Our goal with this award is to build a collaborative learning relationship between community organizations in two South Jersey municipalities that share a focus on food access and health equity. This collaboration will strengthen two existing initiatives: the Glassboro Food & Health Equity project, supported in part by NJHI, and the Camden Urban Agriculture Collaborative led by Parkside Business & Community in Partnership (PBCIP).

The Glassboro team, led by Rowan University, Acenda Integrated Health, and the Mosaic Family Success Center, will develop four food-related workshops on the below topics for the participants of the Camden Urban Agricultural Collective apprenticeship program. The initial four workshops will be delivered in April at the Mastery High School of Camden. Workshop materials will be available to the public through the project web site

  • Fresh Foods Nutrition: Participants will gain a better understanding of the health benefits of food growing in areas with limited access to fruits and vegetables. They will learn about the nutritional value of fresh produce and ideas for simple snacks and recipes incorporating fresh produce. Participants will have the opportunity to sample fresh produce items and prepare and enjoy a snack using fresh foods.
  • Cooking with Fresh Produce: Participants will cook and enjoy a nutritious, fresh produce-based meal together with their instructors. During this process, they will develop cooking skills and learn how to prepare and shop for meals that are nutritious and budget-friendly.  The food they prepare will be something they could also package and sell, creating a source of income for the club and teaching students how to generate income from fresh produce.
  • Health Services Navigation: Participants will become “community outreach advocates” who could help others in the community to become aware of and knowledgeable as to how to access government assistance (SNAP/WIC, wellness programs, Food Bucks, Food Pantry services, etc.), focusing on specific services available to Camden residents. 
  • Exploring Food-Related Career Paths: Participants will develop a mid and long-term plan to work in the local food economy (focusing on Camden and surrounding areas) and various aspects of food systems (production, processing, distribution, retail, and consumption) through certifications, higher education, grant writing, and more. 

In exchange, the Camden team, led by PBCIP, will deliver workshops in Glassboro, explaining the many food and health equity projects that they are involved in Camden. They will assist the Glassboro Coalition to identify initiatives that could be replicated in Glassboro and then help the Glassboro Coalition to plan for these initiatives to increase food equity in Glassboro.

Learn more about the projects and contact the project director, Dr. Mahbubur Meenar, here.

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Mahbubur Meenar
Rowan University