Nestlé Nutrition Partners With Rutgers University‒Newark and Program For Parents, Inc. to Support Early Childhood Nutrition Education Program in Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood

Nestlé Nutrition Partners With Rutgers University‒Newark and Program For Parents, Inc. to Support Early Childhood Nutrition Education Program in Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood

Representatives from Nestlé, RU‒N and Community Members Will Be Available for Interviews

  On October 29, Rutgers University‒Newark and Nestlé Nutrition U.S. will unveil a partnership to promote nutrition, health and wellness for expectant mothers and families with young children living in the Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood.  The one-year public-private collaboration will provide a research-based, unbranded, peer-reviewed curriculum and training for local residents to act as advocates and deliver the material throughout the community.

Details of the First 1,000 Days: Early Childhood Nutrition Education Program will be announced at 8:45 a.m. at St. John Baptist Church by officials from Nestlé Nutrition, Programs for Parents, Inc., and Rutgers University-Newark.

NFPN is one of two Promise Neighborhood programs in the U.S. to partner with Nestlé using the First 1,000 Days concept.  The NFPN is a collective impact program model managed collaboratively by Rutgers University‒Newark’s Office of University Community Partnerships, the United Way of Essex and West Hudson, and the Urban League of Essex County, in collaboration with Newark Public Schools.  NFPN brings together residents with public and private partners to develop, deliver, and monitor a continuum of high-quality programs and supportive services for children in one of New Jersey’s most distressed communities.  One of fewer than 50 such community-driven efforts in the country, NFPN was awarded a planning grant from the U.S. Department of Education in December 2012.

First 1,000 Days continues Nestlé Nutrition’s commitment to promoting early childhood nutrition programs in Newark.  Nestlé Nutrition partnered with the City of Newark in 2012-2013 on a city-wide nutrition program, according to Nestlé Nutrition spokesperson Elizabeth Velez.  The NFPN effort will be an integral part of the pipeline of cradle to college and career services that NFPN stakeholders are developing in the Fairmount community. Program for Parents, Inc., a not-for-profit organization which works to ensure that children get the best possible start in life, will play a pivotal role in connecting this pipeline of services.

The six-module curriculum is based on a 2008 study that found children begin to develop unhealthy dietary patterns, mirroring older children and adults, as early as 12 to 24 months.  It focuses on breastfeeding, hunger and fullness cues, how and when to introduce solids, transitioning to table foods, nutritious snacking, and feeding the fussy toddler.  The program is designed for expectant mothers as well as parents and caregivers of young children.  First 1,000 Days is a research-based, curriculum-driven education program that will be implemented under the guidance of nutrition specialists who will incorporate local foods and culture into the training. No branded food products will be used. 

In keeping with NFPN and Nestlé’s philosophy of active resident engagement, select program graduates will be trained as peer educators to administer the curriculum throughout the community.  Both programs embrace the importance of transferring the tools by which communities empower themselves to promote sound, sustainable practices.  Nestlé will provide funding in the amount of $75,000 to support the education and training effort, including stipends for community advocates trained to deliver the instruction. 

“So many of the challenges that our neighbors in Fairmount face—including early childhood nutrition—are the same challenges facing urban neighborhoods not only across New Jersey and the nation, but around the world,” said Rutgers University – Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “Nestlé’s support will help us build a critical new piece of the network of support for Fairmount families that NFPN’s cross-sector partners have built.  We are thrilled to have them join our community of experts whose work locally resonates globally.”

Among those speaking on Oct. 29 will be:

•          Gary Tickle, Regional Business Head for Nestlé Nutrition US,  and Vice President of Corporate Affairs Wendy Johnson-Askew, PhD, MPH, RD, Nestlé Nutrition US;

•          CEO Beverly Lynn, Program for Parents, Inc.

•          Rutgers University‒Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor

“The first 1,000 days of children’s lives, defined as pregnancy through the first two years of life, are important to the health of the child over the child’s lifespan,” explains Johnson-Askew. ”Children who are obese are at risk for a poorer quality of life and a shorter life.”

“Brain development is most rapid in the early years of life. When a child’s diet is deficient, child development is seriously affected,” notes Lynn.  “Programs for Parents is proud to partner with this initiative to ensure that young children in the Newark Fairmount community has access to healthy and nutritious meals and information that support early development. “

“We are pleased to host this announcement here at St. John Baptist Church, and even more delighted to be hosting some of the workshops to empower parents and expectant mothers,” according to Pastor Patrick Council.

West Ward Councilman Joseph McCallum states, “This program is a great example of public-private investment in our community and it will provide a great service to Fairmount families.”

About Nestlé Nutrition

  Nestlé Nutrition, part of Nestlé S.A., is a world leader in nutrition, health and wellness. Gerber Products Company, founded in 1928, officially joined the Nestlé Nutrition family in 2007. Nestlé Nutrition and Gerber’s combined resources and scientific research expertise have enabled the company to become a worldwide leader in early childhood nutrition. Gerber produces more than 400 food products, all of which are a part of the proprietary Gerber® Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ nutrition system. The Gerber® Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ nutrition system combines products, educational resources and services that are designed to encourage the early establishment of healthy eating habits in children from birth to preschool.

About Rutgers University‒Newark
Rutgers University‒ Newark is a diverse, urban, public research university that is an anchor institution in Greater Newark. Approximately 12,000 students are currently enrolled at the 38-acre campus in Newark, N.J. in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School-Newark, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, the School of Law-Newark, the School of Criminal Justice, the School of Public Affairs and Administration. For more information please visit

About Programs for Parents (PfP)
PfP is a not-for-profit organization which works to ensure that children get the best possible start in life. It accomplishes this by promoting quality child care services within the community.  It links families seeking child care with those organizations that provide such skills. In addition, its goal is to continue to enhance the skills and activities of child care providers so that children and families receive high quality services in the areas of health, safety and child development.

Members of the Media: Please register in advance for the Oct. 29 event by contacting Carla Capizzi, 973/353 5263, or  You can also contact her to arrange an interview with any of the partners in the NFPN.

Media contact: Carla Capizzi,