Prior to NJHCN funding, the original intent for Project Eden was to launch a community garden in the borough of Lindenwold, New Jersey. However, after consulting with a few community stakeholders, discussion revealed that starting with a community garden may be “putting the cart before the horse.” The pre-planning group agreed that we needed to access community needs instead of assuming we knew what they are. As a result, we have planned an atypical community assessment that includes focus groups and surveys to gauge knowledge, attitude and behavior about nutrition and physical activity among priority groups in Lindenwold. The aim of the survey is to provide quantitative data; the goal of the focus groups is to assess qualitative data on the how and why of behaviors surrounding healthy eating and physical activity. Involving community members in defining and understanding the issues and concerns around fresh fruits and vegetables and physical activity will help build buy-in and support for Project Eden. This project is unique such that the community partners include a large faith-based organization, a pharmacy, social service agency and proposal to the Lindenwold school district. Although Lindenwold is a small community, the process of conducting a community assessment has created opportunities for Project Eden partners to expand the scope of traditional work for the overall good of the community. Throughout this process, the partner agencies have shared ideas, participated and or collaborated at events. We are excited and look forward to how the community assessment results will dictate the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of interventions in year two.
About the Grantee
Generations, Inc., a community development corporation, provides comprehensive, coordinated services to meet the needs of families and individuals, providing full access to necessary services for all ages. Innovations Ministries, a non-profit entity within Generations, promotes a proactive approach to personal development, lifestyle management and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.
Cohort: South 2