New Plans, Programs, and Partnerships

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action, Round 2 Healthier Perth Amboy
A middle school teacher stands in an area that will soon be a school garden

Within these past few months, the Healthier Perth Amboy (HPA) coalition has been meeting regularly to share successes, roadblocks, and future plans. Throughout these discussions, there are a few major accomplishments made that inspire us to keep moving forward in our effort to bring all residents the resources necessary to reach their desired level of health.

Our relationships with the school system are blossoming; we held a site visit at a local middle school to create a blueprint of a future school garden and help order materials for construction. This garden will serve as an outdoor classroom to teach students, including special education students, about nutrition and conservation.

In addition, the coalition has created a new partnership with food scientist Meriterese Racanelli from Goya’s Better for You Foods to continue and enhance our Healthy Corner Store Project. She has the resources and outreach skills necessary to connect with every corner store in Perth Amboy and help them sell healthy Goya products instead of higher sodium items. Not only will parents have better options for their families, but the boost in the popularity of these items will help local businesses flourish, thus promoting the economy of our city.

We are excited to announce that our Healthy Housing sub-committee has had their first meeting. This sub-committee of city officials, non-profits, fire department and police department representatives, code officers, realtors and tenants are focused on creating a new evidence-based housing element of the city’s Master Plan. This policy change will serve as an upstream investment in our city, and help residents who are suffering due to unhealthy and substandard housing. Read more about this work

Finally, the HPA partners have continued their efforts to highlight the city’s young artists by creating a Perth Amboy Artist Registry. The Artist Registry Initiative gives youth the opportunity to create and share their work in a healthy way. So far, more than 23 local artists of varying ages have signed up for the registry, excited to share their work and contribute to the overall revitalization of Perth Amboy, including park enhancements, future murals, and more.

Reach out to the Healthier Perth Amboy project director and learn more about the coalition’s work on Twitter and Facebook.

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
Raritan Bay Area YMCA