2016 Strengthening Families Community Garden Kick-off and Health Fair, Saturday, April 23, 2016

LONG BRANCH, N.J.—Long Branch Concordance Family Success Center announces its annual Community Garden Kick-off and Health Fair to be held on April 23rd, 2016. This event will offer families an opportunity to cultivate their own garden plot and grow healthy fruits and vegetables at no cost to them. This free event will offer activities for families as well as a shared breakfast. Local service providers from around Monmouth County will be on hand to perform free health screenings, distribute updated program information, and let families know about resources available to them. The Kick-off will take place at the Community Garden located on 7th Avenue between Broadway and Joline, Long Branch, NJ from 9:30 am—1:30 pm and is part of National Child Abuse Prevention month. "Every year we celebrate the start of spring with our Community Garden Kick-off and Health Fair," stated Lisa Wilson, LBC Executive Director. "We provide a healthy breakfast and the seeds and starter plants, so the families can begin cultivating the land to grow organic, healthy fruits and vegetables. It's a wonderful day for children and parents alike. We also recognize National Child Abuse Prevention month at this event by handing out pinwheels and by giving parents and children a way to make a meaningful connection."

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Long Branch Concordance Family Success Center encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Monmouth County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children's social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities. Research shows that when parents have the necessary supports in place the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. "April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children," stated Lisa Wilson. "Everyone's participation is critical. Focusing on ways to build and promote wraparound supports, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development."

Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County will also be in attendance to interview Long Branch residents and collect surveys on future neighborhood growth and improvements. "We are pleased to announce the kickoff of our Neighborhood Revitalization project in Long Branch. HFHMC will survey residents on ways to improve the quality of life in Long Branch," stated Ray Gabler, Executive Director, HFHMC. "Representatives of HFHMC will be present at the upcoming Community Garden Kick-off and Health Fair hosted by LBC. So, please stop by our table to complete a survey and tell us about the changes you'd like to see in the community that would make it an even better place to live."

All are welcome!  If you are a service provider interested in participating in this event or a community member or group who would like to volunteer, please contact Elena Delaney, Volunteer and Community Resource Coordinator at 732.571.1670 ext. 313 or email at elena@lbc4help.org.

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