May 8, 2020 – TRENTON, NJ.
The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF) today announced 27 grants to provide healthcare and basic needs relief statewide to organizations in areas hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Recipients include social services agencies, community organizations and food pantries, as well as healthcare groups that serve children and persons with disabilities.
Each of the 27 grants is intended to enhance the capacity of existing nonprofits, healthcare agencies and government groups to meet increased demand for their services as the needs of their communities grow in response to the impact of the pandemic.
“This pandemic has impacted the lives of our neighbors, and particularly our most vulnerable neighbors, in ways that were previously unimaginable,” said Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey and founding Chair of NJPRF. “We are committed to rapidly and meaningfully coming to their aid as they face the personal challenges the COVID-19 crisis has pressed upon them.”
The needs are great and ongoing, said Murphy.
The food security grants announced today were delivered to 16 agencies in nine counties stretching from Atlantic County to Bergen and from Middlesex County to Hunterdon.
In addition, NJPRF today announced 11 grants to community agencies and healthcare providers around the state to help address physical and mental health needs of their high-risk clients. This work includes providing telehealth services to support isolation efforts among residents of group homes and other housing programs, and providing food, transportation services and a free medical clinic to the vulnerable and economically disadvantaged. The present awards follow similar healthcare grants awarded earlier to the four regional Health Hubs established by the New Jersey state legislature and to a Newark-based social service agency.
NJPRF opened a month-long grant application portal on its website on April 1. The first wave of grant requests, which ended on April 30, drew applications from 724 organizations and service providers. During the first three weeks, more than 300 applications for aid were subjected to a rigorous grant evaluation process comprised of several stages of review and analysis. That work resulted in 150 grants awarded to recipients in all 21 counties.
While reviewing 400+ remaining proposals, NJPRF has closed the first application phase. Proposals from applicants who have not yet learned the outcome of the review are still under consideration. Grants are being awarded on a rolling and weekly basis.
“Our progress as an organization in such a short time is a testament to the hard work and expertise of our team,” said Josh Weinreich, CEO of NJPRF. “As we gain insight into emerging problems and resulting gaps in service, we are able to provide funding with increasing precision, targeting places where we can do the most good.”
“We applaud the many organizations and corporations that are doing their part to address the impact of COVID-19,” Weinreich said. “This is a great beginning, but many challenges lie ahead. Fortunately, due to the enormous generosity of thousands of donors, NJPRF is in a position to help a lot of people.”
Weinreich said additional grants will be announced in the coming days.
Going forward, NJPRF will shift its approach from solely accepting grant applications to more proactively identifying opportunities to address the Fund’s five focus areas: food, health, shelter, education and economic resilience, Weinreich said. First Lady Tammy Murphy has no role in the selection of grant recipients.
Recipients of grants awarded to date are posted here.