Community Grants Program

Obesity Prevention in New Jersey Communities

A map of current grantees can be seen at

The NJ Healthy Communities Network – – awards micro grants of $10,000 per year to New Jersey communities in 2-year cycles to implement policies and environmental improvements that support healthy eating and active living. Preventing chronic disease and obesity are the goals. By making healthy food and beverages affordable and available and physical activity accessible and safe, the program aims to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Grantees are part of a community of practice – a network for sharing best practices and professional development opportunities. To encourage collaboration, grantees are connected to people and organizations with shared goals and agendas and acknowledged as leaders in building healthy communities.

Interventions include:


Physical Activity Strategies:

  • Conduct Community Assessments (i.e. walkability, bike-ability, safe parks and sidewalk audits)
  • Develop Community Design/Planning Initiatives (urban design and land use policies)
  • Create or enhance access to places for physical activity combined with information, outreach activities, and materials
  • Educate, adopt, and/or implement Complete Streets policies and resolutions
  • Install community walking paths or bike racks
  • Initiate Joint/Shared Use Agreements (giving access to spaces for physical activity)
  • Promote Open Play Streets, Care-Free Days, Ciclovia, Streets as Places Events
  • Organize park improvements including safety and sun-safety promotions
  • Promote stair use in public buildings
  • Implement Safe Routes to School programs



Healthy Eating Strategies:

  • Promote accessible, affordable farmer’s markets
  • Establish community gardens
  • Engage WIC vendors in point of purchase prompts to promote healthy eating
  • Conduct food environment audits
  • Promote healthy corner store initiatives
  • Support organizational or congregation-wide healthy food/nutrition policies (includes breastfeeding support)
  • Support organizational wellness policies (g. in faith-based communities, schools, or worksites)
  • Promote point-of-purchase prompts and menu labeling (including Healthy Vending)



Program evaluation provided by the Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services at Montclair State University.


Grantees blog at regularly to share their progress in meeting deliverables.

Last Reviewed: 11/27/2019