The Power of Partnerships Can Propel New Jersey Forward in 2021

The work to build healthier communities cannot be done alone. As the COVID-19 vaccination rollout offers hope to us all, so do the trusting relationships that partners across communities have strengthened to collectively provide support to those with the greatest needs, moving our state closer to a more equitable recovery.

This year, New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI), a statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), supported its grantees in quickly shifting their NJHI funding to respond to the emerging needs of their communities. Thirteen non-profits also received awards as part of a $5 million commitment by RWJF for relief efforts in its home state of New Jersey, which has been impacted significantly  by the virus. With NJHI’s support, the community partners in Paterson and Plainfield  teamed up with their school districts to distribute healthy meals to families. Bridgeton‘s next generation of community leaders partnered in response efforts by identifying those households that were eligible to participate in the summer feeding program through the school district, but did not have access to reliable transportation to visit a Grab and Go meal site. Healthcare, service providers and municipal agencies in Atlantic City collaborated to give residents who are housing insecure a safe place to isolate, and across the state, community organizations provided direct assistance to more than 22,000 New Jersey households.

The NJHI 2020 Year in Review highlights the community-level work of more than 50 NJHI grantees and their cross-sector partners in the face of COVID-19. In addition, the infographic shines a light on their work prior to the onset of the pandemic. As the funding for grantees supported through NJHI’s Communities Moving to Action and Upstream Action Acceleration initiatives concludes this calendar year, these community collaboratives are looking to the future and planning the next phases of coalition-building, resident engagement, and data-sharing work to advance health and equity.

NJHI’s partnerships with All In: Data for Community Health, City Health Dashboard, the BUILD Health Challenge, Data Across Sectors for Health and the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network further support New Jersey communities by providing data tools and technical expertise, connecting them to statewide and national learning networks, building their capacity to access additional funding for their work and by spotlighting their strategies and practices to inform the healthy communities field.

The NJHI national program is privileged to expand our learning collaborative network of community-focused partnerships and learn alongside them as they address deep-rooted challenges. From North Bergen to Cape May; Egg Harbor City to Glassboro, these communities are seeking transformative change in policies, systems and practices that can propel New Jersey forward in improving health for everyone.

Click on the images and links below to explore the community stories behind the figures.

109 active grants. Read more in the NJHI Grantee Blog.

$844,639 in funding. Browse select highlights from response efforts:

COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Efforts throughout New Jersey Funded to Address Communities’ Greatest Needs

A Spotlight on Outstanding Community-level Work to AidThose Impacted by the Pandemic

Ryde4Life within the City of Asbury Park

Resiliency Training Connects Cape May to Communities Around the World

Identifying Community Resources Using Data: Healthy Places, Healthy Living

The Show Must Go On! The COVID-19 Response to PlayStreets

Improving Food Access in Bound Brook and South Bound Brook during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Hammonton Health Coalition’s Response to COVID-19 is Focused on the Power of Social Connection

Focusing on Children, Seniors and Housing Vulnerable Residents, the Healthier Perth Amboy Partners Leverage Their Expertise to Address Food Insecurity

2,888 hours of employment. Check out the Next Generation Community Leaders’ reflections:

Student Ambassadors Continued Community Service Despite COVID-19

Embracing a New Country, a New Community, and Calling Both “Home”

Feeding the Bridgeton Community During a Pandemic

Civic Spring Project Names Six Funded Programs

View all of the grant recipients of the NJ Pandemic Relief Fund, including the NJHI: Communities Moving to Action and Upstream Action Acceleration grantee, Trenton Health Team

75,000 demographic and geographic data indicators, such as proximity to grocery stores and transportation.

New Data, New Cities: City Health Dashboard Updates

New Jersey Health Initiatives Announces 10 Recipients for $500,000 Small Communities Support Initiative