Step 2. Targeted Action & Interventions

Targeting neighborhood interventions based on baseline results: 

Providing seed funding, CARE collaborated with neighborhood partners to start and expand five community and school gardens; expanded Farmers’ Markets in all neighborhoods; supported two basketball projects; organized walking groups; supported a health and wellness program targeted at girls; helped launch a neighborhood festival, which included a health theme, bike giveaways for youth, and bike tours; helped build a coalition to improve park access and physical activity infrastructure. Most importantly, we organize residents around health-related issues important to their neighborhoods.

Healthy Corner Store Initiative

Recent Action:

  • Expanded the New Haven Healthy Corner Store Initiative to include a program through the Elm City Market.

Corner Stores are an integral part of a healthy food supply in New Haven’s neighborhoods. In CARE’s recent asset mapping project of six New Haven neighborhoods, 104 food stores were counted and over two-thirds of these were corner stores. Through the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, CARE is working to turn these stores into community assets, where children and families have the option of buying fresh produce and healthy snacks. Stores that are in close proximity to schools have been prioritized to help students develop healthy eating habits at an early age.

Participating stores receive incentives such as display stands, free marketing and advertising, and give-away items for customers. The corner stores will place the Healthy Corner Store logo near their healthier choices to help customers make more informed decisions.

Three selected stores hosted kick-off events in the spring of 2011: Adam’s Food ‘n Deli in the Dwight neighborhood, Clinton Food Center in Fair Haven, and Congress Market in the Hill. In November, we will add a fourth store, George’s Deli in West River. The plan is to add three more for a total of seven by 2012. Each store received a makeover and addition of a healthy food zone.

CARE is seeking volunteers to help with the store makeovers which includes painting, cleaning and rearranging stock. We are also looking for neighbors to help canvass the neighborhoods surrounding the stores prior to each launch. To volunteer, contact us.

Quit & Win

Each year, CARE coordinates, Quit & Win, a one-month smoking cessation contest that challenges New Haven residents to kick their smoking habit! Each contestant has a chance to win one of three $500 cash prizes. Contestants are offered 24-hour support from the Connecticut Quitline, a free counseling service provided by trained Quit Coaches. The three selected winners are required to take a breath test to verify that they did not smoke, and a relative or friend is called to confirm that the winner did not smoke during the month of the contest.

Even participants who are not the cash prize winners walk away with more money in their pockets – quitting smoking saves an average of $35 a week, adding up to $1,820 a year!
The next contest will be held in January 2012.

In its 2009 survey, CARE found that 31 percent of New Haven residents currently smoke, which is significantly higher than the national average. Of these smokers, 12 percent assert that they are ready to quit and 75 percent said they would be motivated to quit smoking in order to save money.

For more information, call CARE at 203-737-5270 or email us at

New Haven Public School Initiatives

Recent Actions:

  • Implemented Health Heroes, the New Haven Public Schools' behavioral intervention initiative, inspiring more than 1000 students, 300 families, and 85 staff to take up health challenges.
  • Implemented Weight Watchers for teachers and staff in 11 schools: 148 participants collectively shed nearly 1000 pounds. This program continues through the City of New Haven employee wellness plan.
  • Conducted nutrition lessons to improve student awareness of healthier choices.

Health Heroes

CARE has worked closely with the New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) to develop and implement a new health promoting social marketing initiative, Health Heroes. Students who complete a set of eight-week long health challenges are named “Health Heroes.” 

Past Health Heroes challenges include:

  • eating more fruits and vegetables,
  • getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night,
  • eating meals together as a family,
  • drinking water instead of sugary beverages,
  • limiting activities such as TV viewing, video game playing and time at the computer,
  • being active with 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

Health Heroes was first launched at Clinton Avenue School on November 19th, 2010 and by the end of November Troup, Daniels, and Nathan Hale Schools were also a part of this exciting initiative. 

Since its inception, more than 500 students have met Health Hero challenges. These students were honored at a Health Heroes Awards Assembly in the Spring of 2011 where they received certificates and other prizes. 

More importantly, by participating in the initiative, each Health Hero received positive reinforcement for making healthy lifestyle choices.

CARE is currently working to spread the Health Heroes initiative to even more New Haven Public Schools.

Weight Watchers

In collaboration with Weight Watchers International, CARE offered a free 9-week Weight Watchers program to New Haven Public School staff in 11 schools during the 2010-2011 school year. NHPS staff response was enthusiastic with a combined total weight loss of over 600 pounds!

CARE is proud to say that for the 2011-2012 school year, they have expanded the free Weight Watchers program to the entire school district with staff from over 50 New Haven public schools participating.

Big Food: Health, Culture, and the Evolution of Eating

A Former Exhibit on Obesity at the Yale Peabody Museum

Our world is obesogenic: characterized by environments that promote increased consumption of unhealthy food and sedentary lifestyles. Over-nutrition and obesity now surpass under-nourishment as the world’s leading food and nutrition problem. The World Health Organization reports that obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally with more than one billion adults overweight—at least 300 million of them clinically obese. Through this groundbreaking exhibit, visitors will explore all aspects of the challenge that faces us in the 21st century.

Big Food will begin with the neuroscience of appetite, genetics of obesity, and how food and energy are stored in the body. It will not only examine behavioral choice in nutrition and exercise but also the influence of social, environmental, and cultural settings. Visitors will investigate our origins as hunter-gatherers; explore societal pressures such as the progressive growth of portion sizes; tackle media influences on food preferences; and consider serious health consequences that have increased the burden of chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. 

The exhibit concludes with a challenge for visitors to reflect on their role in personal and community health, environmental justice, and the sustainability of our food system. Whether exploring an interactive timeline on the history of food, pedaling our specially-designed exercise bikes, or identifying popular processed foods by only their ingredients, visitors will leave with an enhanced understanding of one of the most important transformations in health and the human experience in the past century.

The exhibit is a collaboration between the Yale Peabody Museum, CARE, and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

Mighty Milers

Recent Action:

  • Implemented "Mighty Milers" running program to increase student opportunity for more intense physical activity at six study schools, reaching more than 500 students.

Rethink Your Drink

Recent Action:

  • Implemented the "Rethink Your Drink" campaign to increase student awareness of the benefits of drinking water at six study schools reaching more than 400 students.