Faith in Prevention

Promoting healthy lifestyles alongside Trenton’s faith-based organizations

Faith in Prevention (FIP) is an initiative of the New Jersey Department of Health to expand the role of faith-based organizations in the delivery of health prevention services in Trenton, Newark, and Camden, New Jersey. Implemented in Trenton by the Trenton Health Team, the goal is to encourage healthy lifestyle choices and ultimately reduce the burden of chronic disease among communities of faith. This is accomplished by providing an evidence-based curriculum, Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More (Faithful Families), that faith-based organizations can use to encourage and model healthy lifestyles within their congregations.  Additionally, there are mini-grants available for participating faith-based organizations to fund implementation of policy, systems, and environmental changes that promote healthy lifestyles.

Two participants from one of the Trenton sites running the FFESMM program are pictured here, picking herbs from the community garden that they revitalized with the help of a Faith in Prevention mini-grant.Faithful Families Eating Smart & Moving More

Faithful Families is a practice-tested health promotion intervention that promotes healthy eating and physical activity in communities of faith. In 2015, 10 Trenton faith-based organizations, including churches and other community organizations, implemented the curriculum, offering their participants new exercise, wellness, and cooking classes. In 2016, an additional 17 faith-based organizations have participated so far. The Faithful Families curriculum is co-taught by nutrition and physical activity educators and trained lay leaders from faith communities in small group sessions. Lay Leaders bring the spiritual elements into each session, through discussion questions and “thinking it through” prompts in each lesson. Faithful Families can be used by any faith community or faith-based organization.

A Lay Leader is pictured here, leading a lesson in Spanish to a group of participants.

The Faithful Families curriculum was updated
in October of 2015 to include the latest nutrition content, as well as a social media and local foods focus. The curriculum includes everything you need to implement the program, including ready-to-use PowerPoint slides and scripts for the nine-session series, a Lay Leader Training Guide and evaluation tools. Additionally, the kit includes Move More activities, recipes and faith-based discussion questions for each lesson.

Connecting Health and Faith

Making the connection between faith and health is important to the success of Faith in Prevention. As participants move through the Faithful Families curriculum, they are prompted to consider how their physical health is directly connected to the faith they live out every day.

FAITH IN PREVENTION PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

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2014-2015
• 10 faith-based organizations
• 29 faith leaders trained on the curriculum
• 60 Faithful Families lessons completed
• Over 280 lives touched

2015-2016
• 17 faith-based organizations so far
• 69 faith leaders trained on the curriculum
• Hope to reach over 300 lives

Interested in Faith in Prevention? Apply:

If Faith in Prevention is a good fit for your faith-based organization, please reach out to Bonniwell Graham III or Courtney Tilton, project coordinators for the Trenton Health Team.  They can provide resources and information about the program, Faithful Families curriculum, and mini-grant application process.

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