Healthy Kids/Bright Futures

Learn about our Rebound to Resiliency capacity building program

OBJECTIVE 1: Reduce Childhood Obesity by Promoting Healthier Eating Habits and Lifestyles and Nutrition Education.

Healthy Kids/Bright FuturesSalem County ranks 20th out of the 21 New Jersey counties in health behavior measures including adult obesity and physical inactivity, and ranks last in overall mortality from premature death.  According to the County Health Rankings, adult obesity and physical inactivity in Salem County are at 34% and 31%, respectively; compared to the New Jersey state level rates of 25% for both adult obesity and physical inactivity.

Watch this 2-minute video from the documentary “Weight of the Nation.” Learn more about the documentary and view all 4 episodes»

In addition to the county’s obesity issue, high rates of unemployment and poverty make food insecurity and food access a high priority.  Within Salem County there is an 11.3% unemployment rate and 17% of the county’s children are living in poverty.  According to Map the Meal Gap – a local-level food insecurity tool created by Feeding America – a total of 9,640 people (14.6% of the population) are food insecure in Salem County.  The percentage of food insecure children in Salem County is even higher at 18.6% – a total of 2,890 children.  Of the 24,656 households in Salem County, 2,523 (10.2%) are receiving SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits that work to alleviate food insecurity.

There are now nationally a wide-range of public and private initiatives addressing nutrition:  childhood obesity, access to healthy foods, access to open space and safe places for kids to play and get exercise; nutrition and fitness education; farm to table programs; and new federal food mandates for school cafeterias to name a few. The Foundation will focus its efforts to address the critical nutrition issues through the following venues: Educational settings; Emergency food and Social Service Providers; Clinical and Health Care Providers; Food Access and Food Retail; and Community Health and Wellness Providers.

Letters of Intent for the Nutrition RFP should be submitted online.

OBJECTIVE 2:  To reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among young people in Salem County.

The Foundation has released the findings of a study it commissioned to examine the issue of Teen Pregnancy in Salem County. The study examined the factors contributing to the high rate of teen pregnancy among Salem teens.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden, “Teenage pregnancy really is the intergenerational transmission of poverty.” He added that lowering teenage pregnancy rates is “[o]ne of the things we can do that has the biggest impact in societal inequality.” (American Public Health Association’s annual conference).

The teen birth rate in Salem County continues to climb while the national average has begun to decrease.  Television, music, the Internet and other popular youth media tend to glamorize teens having sexual intercourse and teen parenting, but the reality is starkly different.  Having a child during the teen years carries high costs – emotionally, physically, and financially to the mother, father, child and community.  The Foundation seeks to reduce the teen birth rate in an attempt to break the cycle of teen pregnancy in Salem County by engaging community leaders, educators, service providers and parents.   We will promote community efforts that use evidenced-based programming in teen prevention.

Areas of focus are Unwanted Teen Pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Access to Health Education.

Letters of Intent for the Teen Pregnancy RFP should be submitted online.