Special Projects

Middle Earth is proud to participate in two different community-building efforts in Bound Brook and South Bound Brook that is funded by New Jersey Health Initiatives, the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

NJ Health Initiatives (2016-2020)


A 4-year, $200,000 grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,“Building Bridges to Health” will support current health programs in Bound Brook and South Bound Brook, including farmers’ markets, walkability, health services for children and adults, after-school programs, and community health education. The Bound Brooks Initiative will address healthcare concerns including access to healthier food options, transportation, and access to medical coverage.

The Bound Brooks Initiative is supported by these Healthier Somerset coalition members:

  • American Lung Association Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey
  • Middle Earth
  • Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset
  • Rutgers Cooperative Extension Family and Community Health Sciences

This team will work closely with community organizations, including faith-based organizations, schools and community businesses. You can learn more about this initiative by either visiting the Healthier Somerset website or reading our Blueprint for Action for addressing Bound Brook's challenges.

Student Ambassadors for Community Health


The Somerset County 4-H Youth Development Program, partnered with Middle Earth, has been awarded another grant from New Jersey Health Initiatives. The program is a new initiative intended to harness the energy, knowledge and idealism of young people ages 14-21 across the state, to prepare them as future leaders while learning to address barriers to health in their own communities.

4-H and Middle Earth form a team of approximately 10 youth each year and work to mentor them in leadership and population health issues, and facilitate the team’s work. The team designs and implemenst projects that address unique health challenges in their community. NJHI will encourage the youth to share their progress and network during statewide youth conventions.

To learn more about the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative, visit njhi.org and participate in the conversation online with the hashtag #NJLeaders2030. In 2030, the youth participating in NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders will be 29-31 years old, poised to expand their impact as effective leaders, and one election cycle away from meeting the minimum age requirement for a U.S. presidential bid.

More Information


About New Jersey Health Initiatives.

New Jersey Health Initiatives is the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Established in 1987 in honor of the New Jersey philanthropic legacy of RWJF's founder, Robert Wood Johnson, NJHI supports innovations and drives conversations to build healthier communities through grantmaking across the State of New Jersey. To meet the many health needs of our state's diverse populations, regions and communities, the NJHI program encourages collaboration across sectors to foster deep relationships committed to long-term change affording all New Jerseyans the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. Learn more about NJHI at njhi.org, and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/NJHI_ or on Facebook at facebook.com/newjerseyhealthinitiatives.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the largest private foundation in New Jersey and the nation’s largest philanthropy working to improve the health and health care of all. The Foundation is striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. RWJF has invested more than $1.2 billion in New Jersey since 1972. For more information, visit rwjf.org/nj. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at rwjf.org/facebook.