Image description Office of Nutrition and Fitness Newsletter
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Image description Image description August 2013
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ShapingNJ Welcomes New Partners

  • Bergen Community College
    Bergen Community College serves over 32,000 students across three campuses enrolled in degree, continuing education and adult education programs.

  • New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health at Rutgers, The State University of NJ
    The New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health works to educate professionals, generate and disseminate new research, formulate new policy related to food security and access, and implement intervention programs based on the best available scientific evidence.

  • New Jersey Department of Children and Families
    The New Jersey Department of Children and Families is devoted to ensuring the safety, well-being and success of children, youth, families and communities. DCF encompasses Adolescent Services, Child Protection and Permanency, Children’s System of Care, Child Welfare Training Academy, Family and Community Partnerships, Office of Licensing, Women and other divisions.

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    Note from the Director:
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    Dear ShapingNJ Partners and Stakeholders:

    Change is in the air.......this will be the final free-standing issue of the Office of Nutrition & Fitness (ONF) newsletter. Beginning in September, we will merge into the Department's Health Matters monthly newsletter. You can still find us as we will be part of a dedicated Chronic Disease page in the Department’s newsletter, and we will drive our readers to the ONF webpage and use social media to share our successes and challenges, as implementation of the obesity prevention strategies continues to move forward. ONF, as part of the Chronic Disease Prevention & Control Unit, has been awarded new 5-year funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that includes obesity prevention as part of a larger effort addressing diabetes, heart disease and stroke and school health. We have had another success, as well -- national recognition for the ShapingNJ Community Grants project that will be presented at two conferences in the fall (American Public Health Association and American Evaluation Association conferences).

    In addition, the Department has nominated the NJ State Obesity Prevention Plan for consideration in the National Public Health Information Coalition 2013 Awards for Excellence in Public Health Communications. We have bid farewell to two staff members - Stacy McCormack, Environmental Specialist and Mary Ann Ellsworth, NJ Fruit and Vegetable Coordinator, and we wish them well in their new endeavors. Stacy is devoting time to her non-profit organization Ag in the City, and MaryAnn has returned to the Department's WIC program. At the same time, we welcome Juliet Jones to the team to serve as the Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives Coordinator. Stay tuned for lots more news about the work, and it's not too early to save the date -- December 4, 2013, for NJ's annual obesity prevention conference.

    Wishing you all a wonderful end of summer,

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    Office of Nutrition and Fitness (ONF) and ShapingNJ News:
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    18 ShapingNJ Community Grant Projects Celebrate Success
    Community representatives from 18 sites across NJ met to share their accomplishments and lessons learned from implementing the second round of ShapingNJ community grants. This initiative provided small, six-month grants to communities to work with local coalitions to increase access to healthy food and physical activity opportunities in neighborhoods, schools and child care centers. The project included technical assistance to sites, an evaluation and an innovative way for sites to share their progress--a blog. Some key accomplishments include:

    • The Raritan Bay YMCA in Perth Amboy held a Play Streets event that attracted over 200 participants. The event gave local children the opportunity to climb a rock wall, play soccer, learn and play tennis and basketball and participate in a Zumba demonstration.
    • The Raritan Valley YMCA in East Brunswick signed 8 joint use agreements with child care centers to provide space for children to be active and to play.
    • The Monmouth County Department of Health installed bike racks through sports fields and parks. They continue to implement their “Healthy Pick” program in corner stores and bodegas, labeling nutritionally superior choices and working with store staff to ensure buy-in and provide health education.

    Early Evaluation Results Indicate ShapingNJ Community Grantees Changing Policies and Environments
    The Center for Research and Evaluation for Education and Human Services at Montclair State University released early evaluation findings for the ShapingNJ Community Grant project. Results are promising:

    • About 75% of local coalition members reported that their efforts changed a policy or made progress in changing a policy for food and nutrition access (75%) and physical activity access (73%). 
    • A majority reported changing or making progress in changing their local environment for food and nutrition access (77%) and physical activity access (68%).  

    Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative Initiative Picks Up Speed
    The Nemours-funded NJ Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative Initiative is off the ground and running (ECELC). The initiative will create five learning collaboratives around the state and provide training and technical assistance to 30 early care and education centers (ECEs) in each collaborative for a total of 150 ECEs each year for the next 5 years.

    • We are pleased to welcome Juliet Jones to the Office of Nutrition & Fitness, as the ECE Learning Collaborative Coordinator. Juliet comes from Quality Care Resource & Referral Services where she provided assistance to families and community organizations throughout southern NJ counties.
    • A team of 10 New Jersey trainers, along with staff from ONF attended a two-day training in Atlanta, GA to learn about the ECELC, meet teams from the other five project states and expand their skills for training ECEs about healthy eating and active living practices.
    • The ECELC will work with child care centers with 100 or more children in five key regions: 1) Passaic and Hudson Counties, 2) Essex County, 3) Somerset, Middlesex and Mercer Counties, 4) Camden County, and 5) Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland Counties.
    • On July 31, 2013, Camden County ECE professionals kicked off their Learning Collaborative: NJ Children Taking Steps to Healthy Success. Staff from 30 child care centers throughout Camden County participated in a number of fun and engaging group and physical activities designed to encourage them to take the skills they have learned back to their classrooms.

    ONF and NJ Department of Transportation Present a National Webinar on Complete Streets
    Janet Heroux of ONF and Elise Bremer-Nei of the NJ Department of Transportation were featured on a national webinar on June 25, 2013. Sponsored by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers, the webinar highlighted the partnership between NJDOH and NJDOT to implement Complete Streets policies at the local level.

    NJ Hospital Association Hosts Third Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Learning Event
    On June 17, 2013, approximately 170 individuals attended “Expanding Baby-Friendly in New Jersey and Leading the Way”. The agenda featured New Jersey’s four Baby-Friendly designated hospitals - CentraState Medical Center, Inspira Health Network (Formerly South Jersey Healthcare – Elmer Hospital), Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Capital Health Medical Center. Each hospital presented lessons learned and recommendations to other hospitals seeking designation.

    ONF Convenes the 5th Annual ShapingNJ Partnership Meeting
    The ShapingNJ Partnership Meeting convened on June 6, 2013, with more than 160 partners represented. This year, the meeting featured a World Café format and partners discussed three questions related to the accomplishments of ShapingNJ, ways to use technology to improve communication about data, and key recommendations for moving forward. Brief presentations were made highlighting success stories from each setting, a general overview of the impact of ShapingNJ by the numbers and a description of the process being used to sustain ShapingNJ. Click here to learn more about the impact of ShapingNJ .

    2013 New Jersey Kids Count Report Shows More Children Living in Low-Income Households
    Advocates for Children of New Jersey released its annual report about how children fare in New Jersey regarding economics, health, education, families and other indicators. The report documents a 20 percent increase in the number of young children being raised in households earning too little to meet their basic needs.

    NJ Office of Local Public Health and Voorhees Transportation Center Work to Develop Local Complete Streets Policies
    The NJ Office of Local Public Health (OLPH) will work through Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) at Rutgers University to offer training and technical assistance to municipalities and other local entities to develop and implement Complete Streets policies. VTC will conduct in-person information sessions with local public health agencies as well as elected officials and other stakeholder groups to encourage and support the adoption of these policies. Collaboration with local coalitions, such as Chronic Disease Coalitions, Community Transformation Grant Coalition and County Community Health Improvement Plan Committees, is encouraged for greater impact.

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    New Jersey News:
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    New Jersey Childhood Obesity Rates Fall, Yet Still Among the Highest in the U.S.
    New analysis of childhood obesity data reveals that one in eight US preschool children are obese. In 2011, 19 states, including New Jersey, reported decreases in obesity among low-income preschoolers compared to 2008. New Jersey is also one of six states that saw more than a percentage point decrease in obesity rates – a statistically significant change.

    New Jersey Ranks 5th in the 2013 National Kids Count Data Book
    The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the national rankings of how children fare across the country. New Jersey ranks 5th best for children, a decline from 4th ranking in 2012. New Jersey children fare particularly well for students’ performance on academic measures, children attending preschool, 4th and 8th grade students passing reading and math tests and high school students graduating on time. The state, however, dropped from 5th to 13th place for child health.

    New Breastfeeding Data Suggest New Jersey Has Room for Improvement
    New data released by the CDC in the 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card  show that breastfeeding rates generally decreased in New Jersey. Fewer babies were breastfed and breastfed exclusively for 6 months in 2010 than in 2009. NJ also has the highest rate in the country of breastfed babies that receive formula before they are 2 days old.

    Horizon Healthy Hero Contest is Looking for Nominations
    The Camden Riversharks and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey are looking for nominations for individuals in your communities who have been instrumental in improving the healthy food options to your neighborhood. The Horizon Healthy Hero will be awarded an Executive suite for the September 8, 2013 Camden Riversharks game and will be recognized on the field during a pre-game ceremony.

    Visit our New Jersey news page on our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more New Jersey news.

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    National News:
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    US Department of Agriculture Announces “Smart Snacks in School” Nutrition Standards
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released nutrition standards for school snack foods and beverages. The standards will help schools provide healthier choices in vending machines, cafeteria à la carte lines, and other places where foods and beverages are sold outside of the school meals programs.

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Documents Link between New Healthy Food Outlets and Economic Improvement
    A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that establishing new food outlets – including those that serve healthy foods - into underserved areas has at least three key benefits. These include: 1) improving health, 2) providing economic stimulus, and 3) enhancing community development.

    National Park Service to Offer Additional Healthy, Sustainable Food Choices at National Parks
    The Secretary of the Interior, the National Park Service Director and the Executive Director of Let’s Move! announced the Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative. The new program introduces healthy food standards and sustainable food guidelines that will increase the number of healthy food and beverage menu items at national parks.

    Report Recommends Improving Policies and Programs for Physical Activity and Physical Education in Schools
    The Institute of Medicine released recommendations for strengthening and improving programs and policies for physical activity and physical education in the school environment. The recommendations highlight specific actions that improve physical activity and physical education in the school environment; recognize disparities in opportunities and the need to achieve equity in physical activity and physical education; consider all types of school environments; and consider the diversity of students.

    Visit our National news page on our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more news.

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    Show Me the Money: Fundraising for Local Walking Campaigns
    August 29, 2013
    This free webinar sponsored by America Walks will address the ups and downs of fundraising for local walking campaigns and some strategies and interventions used in successful fundraising. Hear from experts in the field – including Kathy Smith, from ShapingNJ partner Partners for Health - with diverse backgrounds and who bring both the funder and funded perspective to this discussion.

    Salvation Army Bike-A-Thon
    September 15, 2013

    The Salvation Army of Bergen County is sponsoring the “Pedal for the Kettle” bike-a-thong to raise funds for disaster relief efforts and social service programs. The event is open to riders of all ages and features a family bike ride, a 10-mile bike ride, a 25-mile bike ride and options for non-bike riders.

    Healthy Begins at Home
    September 25, 2013
    Barry D. Brown Health Education Center
    106 Carnie Blvd.
    Voorhees, NJ 080433

    Sponsored by ShapingNJ partner Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, conference workshops will focus on developments in public health that will impact the families you serve. These workshops include:
    • Research showing that even lower levels of lead can affect the brain and cause learning difficulties
    • Best practices to address storm related home hazards and protect environmental workers in storm recovery
    • Impact of the Affordable Care Act on promoting healthy lifestyles.
    Register here.

    2013 Walking Summit
    October 1-3, 2013
    Washington, DC

    America Walks and Kaiser Permanente are convening the 1st national Walking Summit. This 3-day event will feature information about technical tools, best practices and advocacy strategies. The interactive summit will feature workshops, panel discussions, presentations, and walking!

    SAVE THE DATE: New Jersey’s Annual Obesity Prevention Conference
    December 4, 2013
    The Pines Manor
    Edison, NJ
    Sponsored by the NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids, Rutgers University Family and Community Health Sciences - Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the Office of Nutrition and Fitness, this conference will attract professionals from all sectors to share new information and accelerate progress in obesity prevention.

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