by Josh Bakan
MORRISTOWN, NJ — Is living in Morristown good for your health? The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute released its list of “healthy” towns and gave Morristown the Up-and-Coming designation.
Morristown earned the honor through local efforts to address food insecurity and daily video updates on the coronavirus. Mayor Tim Dougherty has provided daily COVID-19 updates, which provide basic health guidance such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
The community has also collected more than 6,000 pounds of food through community drives, according to the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. Food drives ramped up because of an increased need during the pandemic.
But efforts to feed the community aren’t new to Morristown. Table of Hope, for instance, came into existence after the community helped Bethel Church recover from Hurricane Irene. The nonprofit continues making efforts to feed the community and has even remained open during snowstorms. Read more: Morristown Nonprofit Fed Hungry When 2 Feet Of Snow Closed Town
Dougherty praised other aspects of Morristown, such as walkability and businesses that promote wellness.
“The walkability of Morristown invites people from all over the tri-state area,” he said in a news release. “Our thriving downtown includes every cuisine you can think of with scores of healthy cafes, fitness studios and activities. We’re home to beautiful parks with historical landmarks worth venturing through, and clubs and events that promote ah healthy lifestyle for residents.”
Each year, communities participating in the Mayors Wellness Campaign complete a “Healthy Town” application, outlining research to identify community needs. They also explain how they organized their local Mayors Wellness Campaign committee and address how they’ve made their communities healthier places to live, work and play.
The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute developed the Mayors Wellness Campaign to “empower” mayors across the state with tools, strategies and support to champion health and wellness.
Asbury Park, Evesham Township, Montclair, Paterson, Plainfield, Scotch Plains, Wildwood Crest and Woodbridge were named healthy towns. The healthy towns to watch included Bay Head, Freehold, Denville, Franklin Lakes, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Jersey City, Norwood, and Vernon Township.
Along with Morristown, the up-and-coming towns were Highlands, Lawrence Township, Princeton and Willingboro.