Lessons Learned During Our First NJHCN Grant Year…
We’ve learned so much during our first NJHCN grant year. The initial goals of the NJHCN “Healthy Finn’s” grant was to increase access to healthy foods and physical activity. We’ve done our best to do that. We’ve been able to work and/or partner with some of the best agencies in our area. Not only were we fortunate to receive funding from Atlantic Health System but we also received practical assistance in a variety of ways from Chilton Medical Center, including staff time, food donations and a FREE glucose screening during one of the Mobile Farmers Market visits. We’ve also been lucky to partner with Wayne YMCA, ShopRite of Little Falls, and City Green. Their contributions have been invaluable. Our good fortune continued with the commitment of many of the “Healthy Finn’s Group” members who worked hard to make each Mobile Farmers Market a success. Members also provided helpful suggestions for our proposed green space. We were lucky with how well everyone worked together.
We did, however, experience “opportunities for growth”. For instance, we found the parking area originally designated for the “Veggie Mobile” was not easily noticeable and too far from the clubhouse where free programs were offered to draw people in. Easy fix, we adapted and moved it to a closer and more visible location. We learned that hosting a planning meeting in July, without working air condition, is NOT a good idea. (We skipped our August meeting.) The biggest challenge has been getting to the point where we can begin work on the green space. There are many hurdles to overcome and this year, 2019, we are committed to making our green space into a fun play area for the children of Finn’s.
The program is supported by funding from Atlantic Health System as part of the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network.
About the Grantee
One of the main purposes of the Wayne Health Department is to prevent the premature onset of disease and disability, and to help all residents achieve healthier, more productive lives. The health department is committed to maintaining, protecting, and promoting the health of its residents through organized health promotion and disease prevention efforts.