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Urban News Staff Reports

Public health philanthropy the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will provide $50 million in immediate short-term relief to several national and community organizations to help some of the families and communities feeling the greatest strain under the COVID-19 health emergency. This includes $5 million for relief efforts in RWJF’s home state of New Jersey, hit particularly hard by the virus.

The aim of the funding is to help communities that already face daunting health challenges navigate the additional burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved using the funds to help address immediate needs such as food, housing, and income assistance for some of the nation’s most stressed communities, including lower-income workers, communities of color, indigenous communities, and people with disabilities.

“During this pandemic we are seeing how important it is that everyone has access to high quality health care. Millions do not. Health is also about making sure people have the ability to feed, house, and take care of themselves and their families,” said RWJF President and CEO Richard Besser. While RWJF is providing this immediate aid during this moment of crisis—and encourages others to do the same—its primary focus and strategic work remains unchanged: seeking long-term policy and systemic solutions that address the grave health inequities in America.

In RWJF’s home state of New Jersey, funds will support:

  • New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund
  • Investments in several locally-based community philanthropies managing pandemic relief funds. These include the Community Foundation of South Jersey, the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, the United Way of Greater Newark, and the United Way of Northern New Jersey.
  • New Jersey Health Initiatives
  • Fair Share Housing Center
  • New Jersey YMCA Alliance
  • Mental Health Association in New Jersey

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