Policy Changes for Healthy Workplaces
Center for Family Resources has always been dedicated to promoting healthy communities and focused on the general well-being of children and their families. As part of the NJ Healthy Communities Grant, the agency also decided to focus on policy change to increase the well-being of staff members. In the past, staff has been involved in self-care trainings at professional days and even outside work events, like group hikes. However, now there are new policies to encourage physical activity and healthy eating in the CFR Parent & Staff Handbook. The goal of these policies is for staff and community members to understand how important it is to create healthy environments for people everywhere.
This year, CFR signed a pledge with NJ Sugar Freed Campaign to not serve or promote sugary drinks in any aspect. Additionally, it is now written into the agency’s worksite wellness procedures that all food and drinks provided at meetings and events will reflect the organization’s commitment to health. Finally, there has been a policy added that states “for every two hours of a meeting, it is recommended to have a 5-10 minute physical activity break” and there are samples of break activities provided by the nutrition team.
As far as creating a healthy environment in the classroom, CFR has excelled. The children get physical activity and two healthy meals and a snack daily. The meals and snacks follow the Child and Adult Care Food Program requirements. The nutrition team was concerned about the cooking activities being done in the classrooms, however. Often, classrooms would make unhealthy snacks or desserts for holidays or special events. The first step to changing this was providing healthy alternatives to the education staff. The next step was to add a policy into the CFR Parent & Staff Handbook that states that all classroom cooking activities must use approved recipes provided by the nutrition team or receive prior approval from the team. Going forward, the nutrition team is working on creating a healthy classroom cookbook. The physical cookbook will be provided to each classroom in the agency and also available digitally. As new recipes get approved by the nutrition team, the recipes will be disseminated to all classes and the digital version will be updated.
About the Grantee
Center for Family Resources is a private, non-profit agency dedicated to meeting the educational needs of income eligible children and their families from Passaic County. Head Start provides comprehensive services in the areas of education, social services, nutrition, and mental health. We also assist families to obtain health and dental services.