This summer, nine churches and one mosque in Camden are leading Faith in Prevention, a Coalition-coordinated, community-based, health and wellness program. Assisted by community health workers from our member organization Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC), the project has provided over 150 individuals with exercise, wellness, and cooking classes over the course of the summer.

The Faith in Prevention project, funded by the NJ Department of Health, engaged residents using an evidence-based curriculum, Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More, to help reduce the city’s burden of chronic disease.

The Coalition also collaborated with the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center of Camden for the inaugural year of the project. Participants received free starter memberships to the Kroc Center.

“As a member of the faith-community and Camden City resident, I immediately recognized the value and potential impact an initiative like Faith in Prevention would have on the City of Camden,” said Summer Tatum, program manager overseeing the project for the Coalition. “I’m overwhelmed with joy when I visit a mosque or church and see residents eating smart and moving a little more.”

Two summer interns from the Rutgers University School of Public Health, Jamila McLean and Tarin Shaw, worked with CamConnect to create maps of community resources to be displayed at each participating faith-based organization. The maps were customized for each participating group, connecting congregants to resources such as parks, fitness centers, transportation, and medical services.

Camden’s Faith in Prevention project will recruit twelve new faith-based organizations this fall to participate in 2016. Please contact Summer Tatum at statum@camdenhealth.org for more information.

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