New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger ♫♬: What Your Favorite Leaders Have Been Doing

Beginning on July 9th, Perth Amboy’s Emerging Leaders for a Healthier Community worked tirelessly to address Perth Amboy’s street/ traffic safety concerns and food insecurity.

Divided into three groups of five, the Emerging Leaders offered fresh produce and fruit/ vegetable smoothies at the William Dunlap Homes, spoke with various Perth Amboy community organizations about nutrition, and audited sections of the City of Perth Amboy.

At the request of the City of Perth Amboy, the Emerging Leaders offered free produce to senior residents who live along Convery Boulevard. Through our partnership with the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS), the Emerging Leaders provided free fruits (e.g. apples, watermelons) and vegetables (e.g. corn, potatoes) and fruit/ vegetable smoothies via Smoothie-Topia, our farmers’ market. Each item was priced at different points (e.g. watermelon cost 9 points) and residents could gather as much produce as they wanted, as long as the total was less than 30 points. The Emerging Leaders’ fruit and vegetable smoothies were free as well and came in many different flavors (cucumber lime, carrot, raspberry, etc.). Our signature smoothie was “apple pie.”

The youth also held bilingual presentations about nutrition, diet and exercise to supplement their Smoothie-Topia stand. On Tuesday, August 14, the Emerging Leaders presented to the Alternative Education Institute about nutrition and healthy diets. We are happy to report that the event was a success!

As a part of their goal to improve street and traffic safety, the youth audited sections of several streets in Perth Amboy. The Emerging Leaders noted many street/ traffic safety concerns as well as pedestrian and driver behavior concerns. Such concerns include faded or missing crosswalks, damaged or missing truncated domes for residents who are disabled, damaged sidewalks, and missing or obstructed traffic signs. Concerns about pedestrians’ and drivers’ behaviors include failure to look both ways before crossing, failure to yield to pedestrians, and distracted driving. On their routes, the Emerging Leaders also interviewed pedestrians and witnessed car accidents. Currently, the Emerging Leaders are compiling a report that addresses these issues.

Through additional funding from the City of Perth Amboy, the Emerging Leaders were able to continue their summer employment until August 31. Please follow our Instagram page, @ngclperthamboy, to learn more.

Follow the Emerging Leaders on Instagram to see where they traveled in the Veggie Van. Track all of the Next Generation Community Leaders teams through the hashtag #NJLeaders2030.

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.
Project
Author
Tobi Raji, Emerging Leaders Coach
Organization
The Jewish Renaissance Foundation