Launches new video showcasing its array of programs and services for New Jersey residents
The Department of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS), a community-based nutrition, health promotion and family wellness outreach component of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, provides workshops and online resources to educate and support families, worksites, schools and communities to create healthier lifestyles.
To coincide with National Nutrition Month®, a nutrition education and information campaign held every year in March, FCHS has launched a new video, “Family and Community Health Sciences – Promoting Healthy Families, Schools and Communities,” that is designed to showcase research-based programs targeted to promote healthy lifestyles for all New Jersey residents.
FCHS programming provides access and involvement in a variety of learning opportunities that promote consistent messages about the importance of healthy eating in concert with daily physical activity where consumers live, work, learn and play.
According to FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan, “our healthy lifestyle programs can be implemented across different segments of society, from worksite to early childcare/pre-school environments, and they are tailored to pre-school, adolescents, youth, adults and older adults.”
Over the past seven years, FCHS has established two signature programs, including Get Moving – Get Healthy New Jersey, which emphasizes healthy eating and physical activity through interactive web tools, publications and targeted marketing. Grow Healthy, another initiative funded by Team Nutrition/U.S. Department of Agriculture when it was launched in 2010, is a school wellness program involving teachers, students, families and volunteers working together to make school a healthier place. Students planted school gardens and learned about garden-enhanced nutrition education.
“This program,” says Morgan, “taught several thousand New Jersey youth about eating, and tasting fruits and vegetables.”
In addition to its signature programs, FCHS educators are guided by the department’s Strategic Plan in its focus on the importance of nutrition and physical activity, chronic disease prevention, school wellness, food safety and food security. The department played a key role in the launch of New Jersey’s “Workplace Wellness Program,” with more targeted programming being made available by its educators through local Rutgers Cooperative Extension county offices, added Morgan.
Morgan stressed that FCHS is a leader in the communities in which it serves and works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify health needs, determine educational priorities and implement culturally- and community-appropriate delivery methods. In addition to maintaining a presence in county offices, FCHS is represented on numerous advisory boards and coalitions locally and statewide, “in an effort to remain relevant to the discussion around promoting healthy families, school and communities and to reduce the growing incidence of obesity and chronic disease.”