NJPRF gets $4.5M to provide to N.J.’s vulnerable residents

By Emily Bader
New Jersey | Jul 30, 2020 at 12:48 pm

The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund has received a $4.5 million donation from The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

The donation includes a $1.5 million challenge grant by the Schusterman foundation, which will be used to benefit immigrant New Jersey residents who are not eligible for federal or state assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Families will be considered if their income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level.

“Despite their vital contributions to our country’s economy, many immigrant New Jersey residents are unable to get support from the federal government during this crisis,” Stacy Schusterman, chair of the foundation, said. “Our foundation believes that those of us with the resources have an obligation to step up and help those who need it most right now. We are giving to U.S. citizens through GiveDirectly and other organizations, and we are proud to support the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund to provide direct cash assistance to immigrants who are unable to access federal and state assistance programs so that they can meet some of their financial needs. We hope others will join in providing support too.”

NJPRF also announced the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation donated a combined $600,000 to help fund the program.

“The harsh reality is that tens of thousands of families across our state have a total income insufficient to meet their needs even in good times,” Tammy Murphy, first lady of New Jersey and the founding chair of the NJPRF, said. “Across the state, the multiple effects of COVID-19 have disproportionately impacted communities of color, leaving certain immigrant families who contribute to our economy unable to access federal or state programs and nowhere to turn. We cannot thank our donors enough – and particularly in this instance, the Schusterman Family Foundation – for partnering with us to bring urgently needed direct assistance to a number of these individuals and families.”

To help fulfill the challenge, NJPRF said it has partnered with 20 social services organizations in 16 counties that will help identify households that meet the income level criteria. Households with one or two members will receive a $500 debit card, and households with three or more members will get $1,000. The card issuing company will track specific data sets for NJPRF to better understand the program’s impact.

“We are proud to support this effort to help the most vulnerable in our state,” Josh Weinreich, CEO of NJPRF, said.  “As we work toward the resilience, recovery, and future of our state, we must leave no one behind.”

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | @emilybader