MONTCLAIR, NJ - Partners for Health has announced a matching grants program that will benefit local soup kitchens and food pantries. As part of the larger Eat. Play. Live…Better initiative, $35,000 in matching grants have been approved to increase access to healthy and affordable meals for residents of all ages and incomes.
According to Pam Scott, Executive Director, “The Foundation Board has approved up to $35,000 in matching grants for individual gifts of $50 or more to support five emergency food programs during the holiday season.”
This matching grants program is part of Partners for Health Foundation’s Fight Hunger the Healthy Way Campaign. The goals of the campaign are to raise awareness about the growing problem of hunger in suburban communities, and to inspire action on behalf of those who depend on emergency food programs. More than 100 toolkits with ideas and steps for community activities to fight hunger were distributed when the campaign launched a year ago.
Participating programs include the Human Needs Food Pantry, Toni’s Kitchen, Salvation Army Montclair Citadel, St. Peter’s Haven in Clifton, and the Bethel Rehoboth Food & Meal Center in Bloomfield.
Commenting on the urgency of suburban hunger, Mike Bruno, Executive Director of the Human Needs Food Pantry, said, “We are serving unprecedented numbers of people, with an average of 30 new households registering to receive food each month. It’s a struggle to keep up with the demand, and we are relying on the community’s financial support more than ever before.”
The Partners for Health Matching Grants program was implemented in March of 2014. Since then, 23 local organizations -- including schools, churches, service clubs, scouting troops and local businesses -- organized healthy food drives and fundraising efforts that have been eligible for these matching funds, with more than $17,000 distributed by the Foundation.
"Food need in our community is not always visible but we see its growing impact at Toni's Kitchen,” adds Anne Mernin, Director of Community Outreach, Toni's Kitchen at St. Luke's Church. “Senior Citizens and the working poor make up a growing portion of those with significant need. The matching grants program will help ensure that we can address hunger with healthy, nutritious food."
To access the Campaign toolkit, visit partnersfdn.org. For more information about making a donation that qualifies for the Holiday Matching Grants program, contact participating soup kitchens and food pantries.
Online gifts are especially encouraged on #GivingTuesday, December 2.
For more information, visit:
Human Needs Food Pantry
Bethel Rehoboth Food Pantry & Meal Center, Bloomfield
St. Peter’s Haven Food Pantry