Twenty-nine nonprofits across the state will get $20 million of state subsidies for purchasing meals from pandemic-hit restaurants and delivering those to New Jerseyans facing hunger, according to an announcement made on Aug. 24.
Run by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which has approved or dolled out hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and low-interest loans for pandemic-hit businesses since March 2020, the latest round of funding adds $11 million in Sustain and Serve NJ grants.
State officials estimate that the Sustain and Serve New Jersey program has enabled nonprofits to use the previous $14 million of grants to buy over 3.5 million meals from more than 350 restaurants across the state during some of the worst times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds “not only inject cash into restaurants,” said Gov. Phil Murphy, “but also partner with those restaurants to feed members of their community.”
Sustain and Serve NJ recipients
In Newark a proto-version of the program was started last year – Audible’s Newark Working Kitchens program launched in April 2020 – which has given out over 1 million meals, and is getting a grant under this second round of funding.
The Rescue Mission of Trenton in its namesake city has offered meals to 76,000 area residents since the start of the program and is also being awarded a grant.
In Neptune, the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties will use its grant to purchase bulk meals from restaurants in those two counties and Middlesex County.
The Holy Name Medical Center Foundation in Teaneck is participating in this round, buying meals in bulk from Bergen, Passaic and Gloucester counties, as is the Soup Kitchen 411 in Hightstown, which is buying meals from restaurants in 15 of the state’s 21 counties.
Foundation for University Hospital in Newark will buy in bulk from eateries in Bergen and Essex counties, while the Tri-Arc Community Development Corp. in Hackensack will take part in the program for the first time, buying from restaurants across Bergen County.
The Mid-Atlantic State Career and Education Center in Pennsville was awarded NJEDA funds for the first time, and plans to buy from Salem County restaurants.
Congregation Bnos Devorah in Lakewood will take part for the first time and buy from Ocean County restaurants. While another first-time participant, Power Changes Lives – a Morris Plains nonprofit – will buy from Morris and Union counties.
“In addition to helping restaurants keep their lights on and their workers employed, the program provides an opportunity for them to make a positive difference for their communities,” reads a statement from Dana Lancellotti, who heads the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, a trade group for those two industries.
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