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"Building Bridges to Better Health" is working towards more free and low-cost programs.

Free/Low-Cost Programs


"Building Bridges to Better Health" is working towards more free and low-cost programs.


  • We distributed $27,000 of ShopRite gift cards to address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Both towns launched new farmers markets in 2019. South Bound Brook used a new model, partnering with local community groups to sell produce and share the profits. Leftover food is donated to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

  • Farmers market vouchers funded by RWJUH help improve residents’ access to fresh produce. The vouchers are given out at nutrition workshops with SNAP-Ed and Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

  • A group of Bound Brook residents planned a community garden, which opened in 2019. This later helped to inspire the 4-H/Middle Earth Student Ambassadors for Community Health to improve the rest of Mariposa Park for residents to enjoy.

  • South Bound Brook installed a “Little Free Library” with a bike rack near the canal.

  • Hundreds of pounds of fresh produce are donated to the Salvation Army Food Pantry each year. Duke Farms donates the food from its “Giving Garden”, and the Sheriff’s Office delivers it.

  • The after-school program at Middle Earth allows families to apply for a subsidy based on need.

  • Many free programs are available in the community, including workshops on nutrition, diabetes, breast health, bike safety, and more.

  • We are launching a new initiative called “Families for Success”, aiming to provide a focused set of services to immigrant families to help them thrive.


The communities have a strong interest in wellness programming if it is:

  • Local — Offered in one's hometown.

  • Free or Low Cost — Cost is a major obstacle.

  • Hosted by a Trusted Source — This was especially important for senior citizens and Latino families.

  • Focused on the Audience — Dedicated to the particular needs of the audience (e.g. senior programs for older residents, classes for Latino parents with school-aged children, etc.)

Performance Goals

  • Increase the level of free or low-cost programming at local "trusted" sources with focus on school-aged children, senior citizens and Latino families.

  • Continuously assess local policies and changes in needs of the community that affect provision of appropriate services.

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