Novo Nordisk today announced the launch of the Community Health Collaborative™, a new initiative to support and expand healthy lifestyle programming in the Trenton, New Jersey area.
The Community Health Collaborative™ provides grants to local 501c3 organizations pursuing innovative, community-based approaches to improving urban health and wellness. The program's launch comes off the findings of an in-depth community-needs assessment in which Novo Nordisk identified two priority areas – Healthy Lifestyle + Built Environment and Access to Healthy Foods – in which to best align the Company's corporate giving with genuine community needs.
"Our first priority was to identify the critical challenges faced by communities around our US offices, so that we could respond in a way that was not only important to Novo Nordisk, but even more important to our neighbors," said Diana Blankman, Senior Director, U.S. Corporate Giving & Social Impact. "The need for more support in engendering healthy lifestyles aligns nicely with our own expertise and allows us to make an especially meaningful impact."
Organizations receiving grants in 2014 span central New Jersey and offer both original and time-tested community-based approaches to promote healthier lifestyles and greater well being in their geographies.
"The Community Health Collaborative™ is an extension of Novo Nordisk's Triple Bottom Line, in which we continually work towards financial, social, and environmental responsibility," said Jesper Hoiland, President, Novo Nordisk Inc. "We are very pleased to use our expertise and financial commitment to provide even greater service to our surrounding communities."
Organizations awarded grants in the Healthy Lifestyle + Built Environment priority area are those with initiatives to promote wellness, such as education programs around healthy choices and the benefits of active lifestyles, and to improve or enhance the built environment and recreational infrastructure.
Grants in the Access to Healthy Foods priority area have been designated for organizations helping to address the "food desert" phenomenon, increasing access to healthier food options, and encouraging continued growth of urban agriculture activities, among others.
The grantees and programs for 2014-2015 are:
- Boys & Girl's Club of Trenton and Mercer County's Triple Play – Eat Right, Live Right, Move Right
- The College of New Jersey Foundation's SNACK Smart Nutrition and Conditioning for Kids
- Community Action Center's Rise Healthy Initiatives 2015
- Isles of Trenton's Clean and Green
- Jewish Family & Children's Services of Greater Mercer County's Nutritional Education and Wellness Program (N.E.W.)
- Trenton Health Team's Stepping Up Community Health Challenge
- YMCA of Princeton's In This Together/Estamos Juntos En Esto
- YMCA of Trenton's Comprehensive Approach to School Wellness
HEALTH IN MERCER AND MIDDLESEX COUNTIES
Chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and diseases of the heart, are a persistent problem in urban areas and cities. Diabetes levels in Mercer and Middlesex counties are higher than the New Jersey and US averages, while Trenton's adult diabetes prevalence is more than twice as high as the US average. Nearly four in 10 Trenton residents were obese in 2011, which is higher than the US average of approximately 30%. Trenton is also a "food desert" and only about one in three Trenton children get the recommended amount of exercise. A healthy diet, an active lifestyle, and access to healthy food options can impact these diseases in a positive way.