Sustain & Serve NJ surpasses 5M meals distributed

New Jersey’s Sustain & Serve NJ program has now distributed more than 5 million meals, according to a Tuesday announcement from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Launched by Gov. Phil Murphy in late 2020 as a $2 million pilot program to support restaurants impacted by COVID-19, Sustain & Serve NJ grew into a $57.6 million program that has enabled 36 organizations to purchase meals from nearly 450 restaurants and distribute those meals at no cost to New Jerseyans facing food insecurity.

“Sustain & Serve NJ brings out the best in our communities — nonprofit organizations working together with their local restaurants to ensure neighbors have access to nutritious meals,” Murphy said. “The enormous benefits of this recovery-focused program can simply not be overstated.”

Through three rounds of funding, Sustain & Serve NJ has enabled 36 grantees to purchase meals from 449 restaurants in 179 municipalities across all 21 counties, distributing nearly 5.4 million meals to New Jerseyans in need.

“Sustain & Serve NJ started as an innovative model for helping restaurants endure the economic emergency created by COVID-19 and grew to provide over 5 million meals to hungry individuals and families all over the state,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “We are grateful to Gov. Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature entrusting us to deliver on the promise of Sustain & Serve NJ, which has expanded the capacity of our grantees to serve the New Jerseyans that depend on them for food, while lifting up the restaurants that are a source of jobs, culture and vitality in our communities.”