Our Impact

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In 2016 Allies in Caring (AIC) co-initiated the Hammonton Health Coalition (HHC)The Coalition is an initiative led by 13 cross-sector organizations in South Jersey. Its mission is to help residents improve their mental and physical health by implementing creative programs that recognize and take advantage of Hammonton’s unique social, economic, and natural resources.

 

The Coalition decided to focus first on identifying, developing, promoting, and engaging existing community assets to promote health by making Hammonton an inclusive community that serves all residents’ needs and draws on all residents’ talents.

 

Coalition members create a civic environment to more effectively carry out projects to address our higher rates of opioid use, obesity, and food insecurity than the statewide average.

 

These challenges are particularly acute among our town’s growing Latino community members who face high poverty levels, discrimination, and exclusion. In 2018 we were selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grantee to support this effort.

The Connectors

During 2019 we recruited and mentored ten community connectors. These are bi-lingual, bi-cultural Latinx community members representing  different genders, ethnicities, races, ages, documented status, education, and socio-economic levels.

 

The connectors have learned about the Culture of Health framework and Social Determinants of Health. They have investigated the institutions and organizations in our community and the services and opportunities they offer.

 

They have spread this information among their networks, and they have engaged their networks to develop and participate in new projects. 

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OUR WORK DURING 2020

​We informed community members about available resources in English and Spanish.

  • Hosted webinars on workers’ rights, tenant’s rights, Covid-19 testing, mental health care, and job search support.

  • Translated into Spanish communications from the Hammonton Coronavirus Task Force and shared it on our social media channels.

  • Offered English classes for Latino families​.

  • Co-organized a resource fair for essential workers and low-income families to bring information from 13 different organizations to affected communities.

  • Collaboration with CATA - The Farmworkers Support Committee for financial assistance.

  • Presented our work during the RWJF Webinar: "Health Equity in New Jersey During and After the Pandemic," and at the NJ Center for Non-Profits Annual Conference.

OUR WORK DURING 2020

We led initiatives to reduce barriers to accessing food and other resources for our at-risk population, including Latinos and undocumented immigrants.

  • Partnered with Goya Foods and the new Rancocas Creek Farm to donate food to families in need.

  • Donated facemasks for farmworkers made by local entrepreneurs.

  • Donated thousands of diapers to families—also, hygiene products and formula.

  • Donated arts and crafts kits to 50 families with children with special needs.

  • Created the “Send Local Dining to the Heroes Front Lining” initiative. Raised $11,194 and delivered over 800 meals to 16 hospitals and facilities.

  • Organized a Christmas Toy Drive and donated Christmas trees.

  • Fundraised $1,500 to buy gift cards to help undocumented families.

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OUR WORK DURING 2020

​We promoted Mental Health Care and worked on creative initiatives to keep community members connected.

  • Offered a Free Counseling Helpline in English, Spanish and ASL. Received 300 calls approximately.

  • Implemented the following Social Media Campaigns: Window Drawing Contest, Cinco de Mayo Contest, Mother's Day, Father's Day Picture, Support your Local Businesses, Piñata Contest, Kid's Painting Contest, Decorate Your Mask, and the Hispanic Leader Award.

  • Hosted “Fiesta Hammonton,” a Festival to celebrate the Latino culture during Hispanic Heritage Month.

  • Built a community altar to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

  • Participated as panelists at a Stockton webinar on racial issues.

  • Granted scholarships to High School Seniors.

  • Created “EmpoderArte,” a program for Latinos that aims to reduce ACEs' impact and increase mental wellness.

  • Built social capital by engaging individuals as co-creators, knowing the assets and talents they have. Harnessed their powers and skills to help them rebound from their challenges and help others.

Connecting the Dots for Better Health

Beginning in 2020, the Coalition is carrying out a project titled Connecting the Dots for Better Health: Data, Community, and Opportunities, with funding from NJ Health Initiatives, which aims to address the effects of poverty, racism, and adverse childhood experiences as they apply to immigrant families in Hammonton, by providing the means for every resident to participate in community health conversations; supporting representation among community leaders, and improving access to health resources.

 

The Coalition identified obesity and insufficient access to recreation as focus areas for this project. The Coalition engages the community connectors in data collection efforts and incorporates information from its health partners to inform community initiatives.

 

Through this project, Hammonton is one of 10 New Jersey communities to receive a suite of tools that include a community data dashboard developed by City Health Dashboard.

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