Sustain & Serve NJ Program, what many consider the best business funding program that state has established, on Friday awarded $10 million for the third phase of the program, bringing the total since its inception to nearly $45 million, and the total number of meals purchased and distributed to 4.5 million.
Distributed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the money will go to nonprofits, which will use the money to purchase meals for those in need from local restaurants, which are in need of an economic boost.
“Sustain & Serve offers a creative approach to supporting both restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as those who struggle with food insecurity,” said Murphy. “This program is truly a win-win, offering aid to restaurants to keep their doors open and retain staff while helping to get much needed meals to individuals and families struggling to put food on the table.”
Governor Murphy announced the expansion of the program during a visit to Tavern on George in New Brunswick, a participating restaurant working with Soup Kitchen 411. Soup Kitchen 411 has received grants totaling $4 million through Phases 1 and 2 of the Program.
Through the first two phases of the program, the NJEDA awarded more than $34 million to 31 organizations across the state.
Since February 2021, Sustain and Serve grantees have purchased two million meals from more than 400 participating restaurants across nearly 150 municipalities in all 21 counties.
An additional 1.5 million meals are expected to be purchased between now and January 2022 using Phase 2 grants.
“Through Sustain & Serve NJ, we are fueling the economic recovery of our vital restaurant industry while helping to alleviate food insecurity within our state’s communities, two top priorities for Governor Murphy as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The Governor has often called Sustain & Serve a ‘grand slam.’ I wholeheartedly agree. With today’s announcement, we look forward to getting additional funding into the hands of organizations statewide to buy even more meals in the months ahead.”
A list of current Sustain and Serve NJ grantees can be found here.