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NJEDA to Award $14M in Grants Through Sustain & Serve NJ

Funding Expected to Result in the Purchase of 1.5M Meals From At Least 160 NJ Restaurants

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) anticipates awarding $14 million in grants to 27 organizations through its Sustain & Serve NJ program. The NJEDA launched applications for Sustain & Serve NJ in late 2020 to support restaurants that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NJEDA expects that the funding announced today will result in the purchase of 1.5 million meals from at least 160 New Jersey restaurants in at least 69 cities in 12 counties.

“New Jersey’s restaurants were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the outpouring of interest in Sustain & Serve NJ underscores the community’s desire to help local restaurants and the neighborhoods they serve,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “The positive economic impact of this program for the restaurant industry, combined with the good it will do in the community, makes Sustain & Serve NJ a home run.”

Through Sustain & Serve NJ, the NJEDA anticipates providing $14 million in grant funding to entities throughout the Garden State to support expenses directly tied to bulk purchasing of meals from New Jersey-based restaurants. Each awardee will receive a grant of between $100,000 and $2 million to fund these purchases. The entities will then distribute the meals at no cost.

The NJEDA announced Sustain & Serve NJ in December as a $2 million pilot program. However, due to the enormous interest from organizations and restaurants throughout the state, NJEDA anticipates dedicating an additional $12.4 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act monies to fund all eligible applications.

“New Jersey’s restaurants are paramount to our state’s economy and Governor Murphy has made bolstering this industry a focal point of our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The tremendous response to our Sustain & Serve NJ program showcases the eagerness from organizations statewide to support local establishments within their communities.”

The NJEDA is completing reviews of additional applicants and may provide additional awards in the near future.

Reaction to the program from around the state has been overwhelmingly positive.

SoupKitchen411, a non-profit founded in 2015 to raise awareness about the epidemic of hunger, launched its FeedNJ initiative in April 2020 to eradicate hunger and stimulate local economies by purchasing restaurant-prepared meals to be donated to local soup kitchens. To date, the initiative has served more than 35,000 meals to people in 11 counties throughout New Jersey.

“COVID-19 brought about unprecedented challenges to the restaurant industry and at the same time put unmatched strains on local soup kitchens that partner with SoupKitchen411 as they work to keep up with demand,” said Ken DeRoberts, SoupKitchen411 chairman and co-founder. “No man, woman or child should go to bed hungry and we are working with our partners around New Jersey to abolish food insecurity. We are grateful to the NJEDA for this innovative program and are heartened that hundreds of thousands of New Jersey-restaurant-prepared meals will be distributed to people in need as a result of this Sustain and Serve grant.”

Our Community Dinner Table is a food crisis relief organization based in Palisades Park that was established in the wake of COVID-19 to provide well-rounded meals to the community while also supporting local restaurants. The organization has focused on purchasing meals from restaurants that rely on sit-down customers and/or catering events.

“The economic downfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted families and local businesses all across the country, and neighborhoods in northern New Jersey are certainly not immune from this devastation,” said Our Community Dinner Table Founder Samuel Chong. “The Sustain & Serve NJ program will allow us to simultaneously broaden our reach while continuing to support restaurants in our area that are reflective of the diversity of our community.”

The AtlantiCare Foundation was founded in 1977 to generate significant charitable support to ensure AtlantiCare’s vision of building healthy communities within southeastern New Jersey. AtlantiCare is based in Atlantic City.

“The concept of Sustain and Serve NJ and its ability for organizations like ours to impact our local community while purchasing meals from local restaurants is brilliant. It aligns perfectly with our mission,” said AtlantiCare Foundation Executive Director Samantha Kiley. “This program is a wonderful way for our organization to give back to local establishments that so generously supported our frontline teams throughout the pandemic. It also addresses the broad economic impact COVID has had on our community.”

Organization

Locations of Participating Restaurants
Name Headquarters Municipality(ies) County(ies)
A Need We Feed Inc. Toms River Farmingdale Borough

Lakehurst Borough

Manahawkin

Seaside Heights

Seaside Park

Toms River

Monmouth

Ocean

Aid the Hungry Inc (FeedNJ) Hightstown Belford

Belleville

Brick

Camden

East Brunswick

Elizabeth

Englewood

Englishtown

Hamilton

Hightstown

Hoboken

Lawrenceville

Metuchen

Montclair

Morristown

New Brunswick

Newark

Parsippany-Troy Hills

Perth Amboy

Pine Brook

Princeton

Princeton Junction

Red Bank

Rockaway

Tinton Falls

Toms River

Bergen

Camden

Essex

Hudson

Mercer

Middlesex

Monmouth

Morris

Ocean

Union

Asbury Park Dinner Table Asbury Park Asbury Park Monmouth
AtlantiCare Foundation Egg Harbor Egg Harbor

Galloway

Ventnor

Atlantic
Chef Lou’s Army Pine Beach Manasquan

Toms River

Monmouth

Ocean

City of Jersey City Jersey City Jersey City Hudson
Coalition for Food and Health Equity Jersey City Multiple Essex
Elizabeth Education Association Elizabeth Elizabeth Union
FLAG for Cranford Cranford Cranford

West Orange

Essex

Union

FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (Fulfill) Neptune Asbury Park

Atlantic Highlands

Brick

Holmdel

Long Branch

Manasquan

Neptune

New Brunswick

Ocean

Red Bank

Spring Lake

Toms River

Middlesex

Monmouth

Ocean

Front Line Appreciation Group Chatham Chatham

Florham Park

Green Village

Madison

Morris
Front Line Appreciation Group of Millburn Short Hills Short Hills Millburn Essex
HealthBarn Foundation Ridgewood Ridgewood Village Bergen
Holy Name Medical Center Foundation Teaneck Teaneck

Washington Township

Bergen
Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy Inc. Livingston Livingston Essex
Meals on Wheels of Mercer County Ewing Ewing

Lawrenceville

Mercer
Morristown Rotary Club Morristown Morristown

Verona

Essex

Morris

Newark Working Kitchens (Community Foundation of New Jersey) Newark Newark Essex
New Jersey Farmers Cooperative Cape May West Cape May Cape May
Our Community Dinner Table South Hackensack Fort Lee

Palisades Park

Bergen
Rescue Mission of Trenton Trenton Ewing

Trenton

Mercer
Share My Meals Inc Princeton Princeton Mercer
St. Luke’s Church Montclair Caldwell

Montclair

Essex
TASK Inc (Trenton Area Soup Kitchen) Trenton East Windsor

Hamilton

Mercer
The Cliffside Park Hall of Fame Foundation Cliffside Park Cliffside Park

Hillsdale

River Vale

South Hackensack

Bergen
The Foundation for University Hospital Newark Belleville

Newark

Rutherford

Bergen

Essex

The Summit Foundation Summit Summit Union

Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s coronavirus response is available at https://cv.business.nj.gov.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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