The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced on Tuesday a $50 million nationwide pandemic relief package to help those under the greatest strain amid the COVID-19 health emergency.
The short-term relief package will provide $5 million to New Jersey-based businesses that have been hit particularly hard by the novel coronavirus.
The aim of the funding is to help communities that have already faced health challenges navigate the additional burden of the pandemic by providing food, housing and income assistance to lower-income workers, communities of color, indigenous communities and people with disabilities.
In New Jersey, the $5 million in funds will support:
- The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, focusing on food and housing insecurity, access to the internet for education and services for undocumented children and families;
- Investments in several locally-based philanthropies managing pandemic relief funds, including the Community Foundation of South Jersey, the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, the United Way of Greater Newark, and the United Way of Northern New Jersey.
- New Jersey Health Initiatives, supporting response in small communities and portions of the state with less access to charitable funds;
- Fair Share Housing Center, organizing a coalition to monitor COVID-19 relief funding;
- New Jersey YMCA Alliance, advocating for the needs of a childcare workforce;
- Mental Health Association of New Jersey, providing remote counseling services and advocating for mental wellness.
Here are the organizations that will receive part of the $50 million:
- Feeding America, providing health food to food banks and pantries;
- Meals on Wheels, delivering meals and checking in on 2.2 million people;
- National Domestic Workers Alliance, providing emergency assistance for qualifying home health care workers, nannies and house cleaners;
- One Fair Wage, providing cash assistance to tipped workers, gig workers, lower-wage health aides and service workers who’s job was impacted by COVID-19;
- Catholic Charities, providing short-term relief for social services at the community level;
- National Day Laborers Organizing Network, providing farm workers and day laborers financial support and safety-net resources;
- NDN Collective, distributing resources to groups providing essential services to Native American communities impacted by COVID-19;
- Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition, prioritizing the shelter and housing needs of the lowest income people in impacted areas.
“During this pandemic we are seeing how important it is that everyone has access to high quality health care,” Richard Besser, CEO and president, RWJF, said. “Millions do not.”
“Health is also about making sure people have the ability to feed, house, and take care of themselves and their families,” he continued. “While RWJF is providing this immediate aid during this moment of crisis — and encourages others to do the same — its primary focus and strategic work remains unchanged: seeking long-term policy and systemic solutions that address the grave health inequities in America.
“Unfortunately, in our society being able to live a healthy life can depend in large part on how much money you make, where you live, and the color of your skin. This crisis is making an already unfair system even worse, and that is completely unacceptable. It’s critical that we make real and lasting improvements through community action and public policy in the months and years to come. Otherwise, the world’s richest nation will have failed its people.”