New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids

New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK) is a statewide program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) with technical assistance and direction provided by the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. The goal is to address social, educational and economic barriers to good health in communities and among youth while creating conditions for families to reach their full potential. The primary objectives are to:

  • Convene, connect and empower community partnerships, coalitions, and collect impact efforts to address social change and emerging needs.
  • Create healthy, equitable communities where people live, learn, work, play and pray.
  • Foster change in the environment, policy, and systems that support healthy living, youth development and social responsibility.
  • Advance equity and policy that address access, social barriers and services, and opportunities for communities, youth and families.
  • Expand access to healthy food and physical activity in communities and schools.

NJPHK began in 2009 through building community partnerships in Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, Trenton and Vineland. Since its inception, a continuous community-centered effort with several statewide partners have fostered a myriad of policy, system and environmental changes impacting more than 100 local communities across New Jersey. From assisting with the development of community and school wellness policies, renovating neighborhood playgrounds, securing commitments to provide healthier choices from local corner stores to creating bike lanes, farmer markets and co-sponsoring the Culture of Health Conference — NJPHK is about creating sustainable change in New Jersey communities.

Please see progress report - and website.

Most recently, NJPHK supported the following projects:

Camden----Bike Share Pilot - In 2018, the City piloted a four-month bike share pilot program that made bicycling an affordable, convenient, and fun way for residents and visitors to get around the city.

Newark—Believe in a Healthy Newark Conference - the conference is designed to inform the larger community of issues facing residents while building a culture of health in Newark. About 400 participants representing community-based organizations, business, academia, health care institutions and the school system attended the event.

New Brunswick—Healthy Housing Collaborative, in partnership with New Brunswick Tomorrow, was created in 2017 as part of the BUILD Health Challenge sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The collaboration includes NBT, RWJH St. Peters, and the Middlesex County Department of Health. The goal is to improve health outcomes by identifying and mitigating the housing health hazards facing New Brunswick residents, particularly within the Esperanza and Unity Square neighborhoods. 

Trenton—Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market - a vibrant urban market celebrating its fifth year of operation in Trenton. The market is a product of policy and environmental work fostered by NJPHK-Trenton in partnership with the Capital Area YMCA. The market creates economic development opportunities for local Trenton businesses and urban growers, while providing access for families in an economically distressed urban community.

Vineland—Healthy Corner Stores - 25 Vineland corner stores now sell and promote affordable, nutritious food to residents under a project of Live Healthy Vineland. The initiative is led by the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA and the Vineland Health Department in partnership with the American Heart Association. In addition, local restaurants and food pantries now receive fresh produce from Ploch Farms and the Community Food Bank of NJ.

For more information about New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, contact Marissa Davis at Marissa.Davis@yalliance.org.