Camden Community Partnership Awarded $75K Grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey to Fund Health & Fitness Initiatives in Camden

By Camden Community Partnership, March 12, 2024

Camden, NJCamden Community Partnership has received a grant in the amount of $75,000 from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. The donation, made through The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, will be used to fund new evidence-based health and fitness initiatives in the City of Camden focused on reducing obesity and related chronic conditions, while promoting fitness and healthy living for local residents.


“Since our inception, Camden Community Partnership has been dedicated to a holistic and inclusive approach to the community and economic revival of the City of Camden,” said Dana L. Redd, President & CEO, Camden Community Partnership. “As health equity continues to play a vital role in the evolution of the City of Camden, this critical funding will be utilized to launch care-based initiatives and a variety of supportive programming aimed at advancing education, increasing awareness and encouraging prevention, all for the overall health benefit of city residents. We wholeheartedly thank Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey for their unwavering commitment to the City of Camden and dedicated support of our organization’s mission.”


“This $75,000 grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey to Camden Community Partnership is wonderful news and aligns with my administration’s efforts to improve our residents’ overall health and well-being,” said Camden Mayor Victor G. Carstarphen. “The events and programs this grant will fund combine fun, family-filled activities with educational lessons that can inspire residents to live a healthier lifestyle. I look forward to participating in these initiatives alongside our Camden families this summer.”


The generous funding provided by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey will be utilized to launch two innovative health-based initiatives in Camden:


Healthy Food & Lifestyles Initiative – The goal of this initiative is to engage and connect with individuals in order to integrate youth obesity prevention and education into their everyday lives, with a focus on healthy eating and lifestyle. This initiative will include the launch of two large-scale food insecurity/food distribution events, hosting health screenings at various special events in Camden, providing healthy snacks and beverages at events held in city parks and open spaces, organizing a cooking/education program focusing on healthy foods and lifestyles, supporting healthy interventions in partnership with local nonprofits and more.


Camden’s Youth Athletics & Fitness Initiative – The goal of this initiative is to engage and connect with individuals in order to integrate youth obesity prevention and education into their everyday lives, with a focus on physical activity. This initiative will include the launch of various health education events/seminars in city parks throughout Camden, hosting a speaker series with the support of local youth athletic associations, showcasing health resources of partnering organizations at special events in city public spaces, organizing a number of fitness activities targeted at families, hosting youth-centric and family fitness events in public spaces, and more.


These initiatives will also be tied to Camden Community Partnership’s existing Connect the Lots program – a collaborative partnership with the City of Camden designed to engage Camden residents in neighborhood transformation by creating safe hubs of activity and quality programming, giving residents the opportunity to enjoy in city public spaces and corridors. Each year, Connect the Lots organizes a wide variety of free, family-friendly events and programming throughout the city, including Camden Night GardensI Paddle CamdenCamden’s Got TalentI Walk CamdenArnetta’s Band CampI Bike CamdenCamden Peace GamesFamily Fun and Fitness Day with JoettaLatin Night en la PlazaCamden Jam, outdoor fitness classes, lunchtime concert series, outdoor movie nights and more – see photos attached to this release for examples previous Connect the Lots programming funded by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.


In order to launch these new health initiatives, Camden Community Partnership will rely on its vast network of state, regional and city-based partners, including: Better Tomorrows, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Camden County Metro Police Department, Camden County Health Department, Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition, Heart of Camden, The Salvation Army, Urban Promise, Virtua and more.


“For nearly four decades, the impactful initiatives spearheaded by Camden Community Partnership have been rooted in longstanding, innovative partnerships,” said Mark McDonough, Board Chair of Camden Community Partnership and President, New Jersey American Water and Senior Vice President, American Water. “Through innovative collaboration, which will now extend to this new, exciting program supported by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Camden Community Partnership will continue to produce measurable and positive change in the lives of local residents and further contribute to vibrant, growing neighborhoods throughout the City of Camden.”


“Horizon is pleased to support the vital work of Camden Community Partnership to improve healthy living and fitness to all Camden City residents,” said Jonathan R. Pearson, Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. “Camden Community Partnership’s health initiatives closely align with our mission to help our members gain access to resources and services to achieve their best health.”


For more information about Camden Community Partnership, visit https://camdencommunitypartnership.com/.