CATCH to Improve Health
In September 2020, New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (NJ SNAP-Ed), which is in run in part by Zufall Health, will be offering Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) at Alexander Batch Intermediate School (ABIS) in Manville, NJ. Zufall Health, whose vision is to create equal opportunity for good health, has been working with under-served communities since 1990 in order to reduce health disparities throughout New Jersey. One way Zufall Health has increased positive health outcomes is through the implementation of NJ SNAP-Ed. NJ SNAP-Ed, which is administered a collaboration between the New Jersey Department of Human Services and Department of Health, is a federally funded nutrition and physical activity program. Zufall Health is one of three partners that provides information and hands-on workshops to encourage people of all ages to make healthy food choices and lead more active lives through NJ SNAP-Ed.
Specifically at ABIS, NJ SNAP-Ed will lead CATCH programming in classrooms with students who have disabilities. CATCH is a valuable tool schools are using to address and reduce obesity in children. As the CATCH website states, “CATCH promotes physical activity and healthy food choices in preschool through middle school aged children and their families. CATCH is based on the CDC Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model in which health education and the creation of a healthy school environment, and family/community involvement work together to support youth in a healthy lifestyle” (https://catchinfo.org/research/).
Many considerations have been taken into account as a result of COVID-19 and the impact the virus could have on academic programming in the fall of 2020 and beyond. As a result, NJ SNAP-Ed is fully prepared to offer either in-person or virtual CATCH trainings to ABIS staff depending on state guidelines at the start of the school year. NJ SNAP-Ed Health is continuing to be trained by and receiving technical assistance on the CATCH program from the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. Additionally, CATCH continues to support families and their students during these uncertain times and the summer months by providing valuable at-home resources on its site https://www.catch.org/pages/health-at-home. This information will be shared with the staff and families at ABIS. Regardless of how the mode in which CATCH is offered to ABIS, NJ SNAP-Ed will enhance health and wellness education as well as grow the school wellness committee through the WSCC model.
About the Grantee
Healthier Somerset is a coalition created to improve the health and well-being of those who live and work in Somerset County. We promote healthy lifestyles through collaboration among 50 partner organizations representing thousands of Somerset County residents, businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, public health officials, healthcare providers, government, and faith-based organizations.