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October 2016 Featured Article
The New Jersey Healthy Communities Network Offers Communities a lot More than Simply Grants
New Jersey Healthy Communities Network (NJHCN) brings together local, regional and statewide leaders to support communities in developing healthy environments for people to live, work, learn and play. Through partnerships, advocacy, funding and training, the NJHCN is assisting local municipalities and organizations with preventing chronic disease. The organization’s assistance achieves this purpose by helping its constituencies enhance the built environment and develop policies that both support healthy eating and active living. The NJHCN has been demonstrating success since 2013 through leveraging the collective efforts of multiple organizations statewide to help make a bigger impact.
The NJHCN is comprised of over 100 partners including grantees, funders, advocates and communities of practice members such as organizations, individuals, local governments and institutions. These partners seek to have a collective impact on community well-being by being mutually engaged, mutually accountable and sharing responsibility for goal oriented action.
Part of the NJHCN, its funding collaborative consists of generous partners who provide in-kind and/or financial resources to support the collective impact work of the network, including, but not limited to, backbone support, technology and the community grant program. By 2017, the partnership’s Community Grants Program will have awarded $2 million to its grantees since 2013. This year alone, NJHCN awarded $860,000 to 43 New Jersey organizations.
The Collaborative is responsible for all dollars invested in communities to support healthy eating and active living. Grantees include health departments, non-profit organizations, school boards and various local government departments, including parks and recreation and more. In addition to funding, recipients receive shared learning, tools and support to advance healthy eating and active living through environmental and policy change.
Proposals must seek to advance local policies that create healthy environments and support healthy behavior, engage communities that face socio-economic barriers to health and/or increase funds allocated toward primary prevention at a local level. As part of funding, recipients also receive free mentorships, networking events, workshops and webinars. For 2016, awardees included Bergen, Burlington, Hunterdon, Morris and Salem counties, as well as seven municipal governments across the State.
The next application window is just around the corner; click here to learn more about the application process.
Published October 2016.