Community FoodBank of New Jersey awarded more than $3.2M in grants

East Brunswick’s REPLENISH facility on Monday was the site of a news conference at which the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, REPLENISH, New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios and two partners of REPLENISH and CFBNJ — Legacy Church and Hands of Hope for the Community — gathered to celebrate CFBNJ’s latest round of Network Investment Grants.

This latest round of grants totals over $3.2 million to help 80 individual organizations better serve food-insecure New Jerseyans. Funds will support transformative projects that significantly impact food insecurity, nutritional intake or operational sustainability, as well as small-scale projects meant to upgrade or refurbish organizations’ existing infrastructures.

The grants were made possible with lead support from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and additional funding from the Partners for Health Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Network Investment Grant Initiative is a multiyear effort by CFBNJ to increase the capacity of local food assistance organizations, especially those in underserved communities, including food pantries, child and senior feeding programs and more.

“The Network Investment Grant Initiative represents a commitment to CFBNJ’s community partners to help them address their most urgent needs while supporting their growth and expansion,” Elizabeth McCarthy, CEO and president of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, said. “Their operations have changed significantly since the pandemic, and, even today, they’re still seeing rising demand for food assistance and long lines at distributions. We’ve seen the impact that we can have by combining programs and resources to address root causes of hunger, and we’re seeking to expand that impact with this latest round of Network Investment Grants.”

REPLENISH, Middlesex County’s food bank, was selected to receive a Network Investment Grant from CFBNJ for new walk-in refrigeration. Legacy Church and Hands of Hope for the Community, both part of REPLENISH’s network, also received infrastructure grants.

“For 30 years, REPLENISH has worked to be a source of nutritious and culturally appropriate food while facilitating collaborations among our partners to more effectively and efficiently serve Middlesex County residents who face financial struggles,” REPLENISH Director Jennifer Apostol said. “Thanks to the Community Food Bank of N.J.’s Network Investment Grant, REPLENISH is receiving funds to procure walk-in cold storage here inside our facility. The walk-in cold storage will enhance our operational efficiency by improving our capabilities to better organize and streamline our inventory.”