Economic Development

NJEDA Announces Additional $5M for Sustain & Serve NJ Program

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced plans to allocate an additional $5 million in state funding to Phase 3 of its Sustain & Serve NJ program. Sustain & Serve NJ provides nonprofit organizations with grants to support the purchase of meals from New Jersey restaurants that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the distribution of those meals at no cost to recipients. The announcement comes at a time of year when nonprofits are facing peak demand for food assistance. The funding announced today is expected to support the purchase of an additional 450,000 meals.

Sustain & Serve NJ launched during the pandemic as a $2 million pilot program to boost restaurants impacted by COVID-19 while combatting rising food insecurity and has grown into an over $57 million program that continues to bring much-needed food to people across New Jersey. Since February 2021, Sustain & Serve NJ has already supported the purchase of more than four million meals from over 400 restaurants in all 21 counties with grants totaling $57.5 million through three rounds of funding.

“Sustain & Serve NJ is a unique tool with a proven track record of enabling nonprofits to buy meals from local restaurants to combat food insecurity,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Food banks and other nonprofits statewide are seeing a rising demand this holiday season and this added $5 million for Sustain & Serve NJ will significantly aid their efforts to connect New Jerseyans with nutritious meals.”

Earlier this year, 31 New Jersey nonprofits were approved to receive a total of $17.5 million through Phase 3 of Sustain & Serve NJ. Each of these awardees will now receive additional funding to support their efforts.

“Sustain & Serve NJ grantees are working extra hard this holiday season to feed their neighbors and support their communities,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.

This additional $5 million committed to Sustain & Serve NJ partners will go extra in making sure more families see hot and freshly prepared foods on their tables this holiday season, into the New Year, and beyond,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “And that’s incredibly critical as our food banks report sharp increases in food insecurity among our communities.”

Sullivan noted that Sustain & Serve NJ is a key part of the NJEDA’s efforts to strengthen the economic security of all New Jerseyans. The Authority is putting forth a multi-pronged strategy to eliminate food deserts within the state and to bolster the child care sector, an industry whose critical importance was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NJEDA is also working with partners statewide to create a Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton as part of First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ initiative to make New Jersey the safest and most equitable place to give birth in the country.

“Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, we are taking a holistic approach to ensuring New Jerseyans’ basic needs are addressed and have placed a large focus on food security,” said NJEDA Executive Vice President of Economic Security Tara Colton. “Sustain & Serve NJ has the ability to transform lives – both by bolstering the restaurant industry and bringing nourishment to New Jerseyans in a respectful and dignified manner.”

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