(TRENTON) – Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced that the Department’s Division of Disability Services is awarding $60,000 in grants to community-based organizations to support inclusive communities and launch projects designed to improve the health of New Jerseyans with physical disabilities and increase accessibility.

The Division of Disability Services joined the NJ Healthy Communities Network’s (NJHCN) Community Grants Program, a public-private funding collaborative that provides grants to support local initiatives that promote healthy eating and increase opportunities for active living

“The Murphy Administration is committed to building a more inclusive New Jersey,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “Through these efforts we are creating spaces for individuals with disabilities to not only achieve better health outcomes but also to thrive and equally participate in their communities.”

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“Studies show that individuals living with disabilities are at greater risk for health problems and chronic diseases,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “Through these grants, we are excited to be helping communities create environments that support and promote better health outcomes for New Jerseyans with disabilities.”

DDS will award $20,000 grants over a two-year period to the following:

  • Atlantic County Division of Intergenerational Services
  • The Family Resource Network (Statewide)
  • The Raritan Valley YMCA (Middlesex County)

These awardees bring special attention to promoting the health of individuals with disabilities through projects to increase access to healthy foods and nutrition as well as support access and inclusion.

DDS provides services and resources to individuals with disabilities that support their independence, well-being, and health.

“We know the challenges that those we serve face to stay healthy and remain active in their communities,” said DDS Executive Director Peri Nearon. “That is why we are making this important investment to support strategies focused directly on benefitting individuals with disabilities, including increased accessibility or inclusivity.”

The NJHCN Community Grants Program funding collaborative also consists of: New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Partners for Health Foundation, Russell Berrie Foundation, Atlantic Health System and Salem Health & Wellness Foundation

The collaborative works together to identify community needs and opportunities.  These three grants were reviewed and awarded by DDS.

For more information about DDS, visit www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dds/home/ or call 1-888-285-3036.