EDA to begin accepting Phase 2 applications for Sustain and Serve program today

$10M in funding available in unique program where nonprofits spend grant money buying meals from restaurants in need for those in need

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority began accepting applications Monday for $10 million in new funding for its Sustain and Serve NJ program.

The program provides eligible entities with grants of between $100,000 to $2 million to support the purchase of meals from New Jersey-based restaurants that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The purchased meals will then go to feed those struggling with food insecurity.

The application window will be open until July 18. (Click here to apply.)

The program is open to entities that are legally registered to do business in New Jersey and are in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development and Division of Taxation, including 501(c) nonprofit organizations. Grant applicants will be required to demonstrate prior bulk purchases of 3,000 or more meals valued at $50,000 or more from New Jersey-based restaurants since March 9, 2020. (Complete eligibility requirements can be found here.)

Current grantees of the Sustain and Serve NJ program are eligible to apply for additional funds.

While restaurants may not directly apply to the program, those interested in providing meals through the program may opt to have their information posted publicly on the New Jersey COVID-19 Business Information Hub here or by completing the Sustain and Serve NJ Restaurant Interest Form here.

The EDA will hold an informational webinar at 11 a.m. Wednesday for potential applicants to learn tips and advice for applying. The webinar will also include a walk-through of the application.

Access the webinar here. 

The funding for Phase 2 of the program is part of the $235 million worth of grants for small businesses that was approved by the Legislature this spring and signed into law last week.

The EDA said the first phase of the program, announced in February, awarded more than $14 million to 28 organizations across the state, which will result in the purchase of more than 1.5 million meals from more than 340 participating restaurants.

EDA CEO Tim Sullivan has long said restaurants play an important role in the state’s economic recovery.

“The second phase of Sustain and Serve NJ will expand upon the enormous impact that the program has already had on restaurants in the Garden State,” he said.