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Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services Hosts the Second Annual Healthy Food Access Symposium

On Saturday, March 2nd, the Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services (JCHHS) hosted a Healthy Food Access Symposium at the New Jersey City University (NJCU) School of Business. This second annual gathering focused on strategies to improve access to healthy food for all Jersey City residents, reduce food insecurity, and support the local system.

 

The symposium featured workshops on farmers’ markets, community food projects, community gardening, emergency food projects, and Aunt Bertha, a social services search engine. The day began with a morning plenary on “Growing Community, Growing Power,” from Qiana Mickie, executive director of Just Food, a New York City-based food justice nonprofit.  Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America and a nationally recognized leader in the fields of domestic hunger, food security, and obesity, closed the day with his keynote address, “Ending Hunger Lifts Us All.”

 

Jersey City’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative was highlighted at the symposium.  In the workshop, “Community-Based Interventions to Improve Healthy Food Access,” Carena Miles, Healthy Food Access Coordinator for JCHHS, discussed community engagement as a key strategy to driving demand for healthier foods at corner stores.  The panel discussion also included Mark Bunbury, president of Riverview Farmers’ Market located in Jersey City Heights, and Rachel Terry, outreach coordinator of the Common Market, who discussed farmers’ market and farm share programs as additional strategies to increase healthier food in underserved communities. The panelists shared best practices to identify communities’ needs and create collaborative partnerships to address food insecurity.

 

In 2018, the Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services received a $10,000 grant from the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network to expand its Healthy Corner Store network.

About the Grantee

Jersey City Department of Health

The Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services is a public agency that strives to build a culture of health. Through the department’s divisions, this multi-purpose public health agency provides services needed to promote overall health in the community. The Division of Food & Nutrition seeks to reduce hunger and food insecurity and increase the consumption of healthier foods.