Gallery, Part II: Coming Together in the Face of COVID

The sequel to this gallery series features videos and photos from Freehold, Toms River, Trenton and other communities throughout the state. They highlight a number of the accomplishments by New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) grantees and their partners since March 2020. View the first installment

NJHI is privileged to support their efforts, and to work with our partners across the state and state leaders on a strategy to vaccinate hard-to-reach New Jerseyans including older adults without transportation, those experiencing homelessness, agricultural workers and those who are undocumented — people that data has shown have been hit hardest by the virus. NJHI is advancing this work through our years-long relationships with local health departments, and by relying on trusted community-based organizations, their partners, resident-leaders and medical personnel.

The trust represented by all of these collaborative efforts gives us hope about a long-term recovery and approaches for an equitable recovery.

Allies in Caring in Hammonton and the Hammonton Health Coalition established a free counseling hotline in English and Spanish, and donated thousands of diapers to families and arts and crafts kits to children with special needs. Learn More

The Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition redistributed its NJHI funding to support COVID-19 response efforts in the Toms River community. The coalition partners awarded $70,000 in funding to 19 organizations Read More

As a funder, flexibility, coupled with rapid response, may have been the most important lesson that NJHI learned from the most devastating health and economic crisis of a lifetime. But it wasn’t the only one. In an Op-Ed for Generocity.org, NJHI Director Bob Atkins shares lessons learned and how the collaborative relief efforts of cross-sector community coalitions throughout New Jersey offer hope for a more equitable recovery Full Op-Ed

Through Fondo de Oportunidades, Norwescap provided emergency assistance to residents to help cover the cost of basic household expenses such as rent and nutritious food amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly one year later, Norwescap Chief Program Officer Chris Kirk reflected on the impact of this work. Learn More

The Trenton Food Stakeholders group, initially convened by the Trenton Health Team in 2019 to improve food access and nutrition across the city, began confronting increased food insecurity prompted by the health and economic crisis related to COVID-19. The Trenton Food Stakeholders group worked to track and analyze distribution efforts in the community. This work led to the development of an interactive map and online list of food resources on the Trenton Health Team’s web site to guide residents in need and identify populations and locations lacking resources. Read More

In a December 2020 Op-Ed for NJ.com, First Lady Tammy Murphy and Kiran Handa Gaudioso, Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Northern New Jersey, cite a study by the Center For American Progress that estimates up to 54% of New Jersey’s child care supply may be lost due to the pandemic. To resolve the problem, they said philanthropy can drive innovative solutions in partnership with the government and highlight the philanthropic partners that are collaboratively supporting United in Care, a new model to build a Family Child Care Network that connects center-based childcare providers and registered, home-based providers in Gloucester and Warren counties. Learn More

the COVID-19 crisis, Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs (MCOHA) led efforts to provide direct emergency assistance and personal protective equipment to low-income families and seniors. In addition, vulnerable families who faced eviction and homelessness received assistance and access to support services through this project. Nearly one year later, MCOHA Executive Director Xiomara Guevara reflected on the impact of this work. Get Details

In a 2020 commentary for NJ.com,  Bob Atkins, NJHI Director, Associate Professor of Nursing and Childhood Studies at Rutgers University, and former school nurse, shared his perspective as a COVID-19 volunteer vaccinator and how NJHI is working with state leaders to design a multi-faceted strategy to vaccinate hard-to-reach New Jerseyans Full Article

In December 2020, NJHI awarded funding to the Center for Community Engagement at Montclair State University to partner with The College of New Jersey and Rutgers University-Camden to develop the New Jersey COVID-19 Service Corps, a statewide team of emerging public health and allied health professionals who will provide support to communities as part of the AmeriCorps national program. Read More

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