Princeton Area Community Foundation awards over $2 million in second phase of COVID-19 relief 


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The Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF) awarded over $2 million to more than 50 local nonprofits in its second phase of COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Grant funding activities.

Thanks to the philanthropic spirit of the community, and donor contributions, PACF awarded grants to organizations focused on immediate needs such as food insecurity, healthcare, housing, mental health, and other social service needs, as well as helping children in the region continue educational activities and reduce learning loss, according to information provided by PACF.

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In addition to the grants focusing on immediate needs, more than a dozen nonprofits received organizational capacity-building grants for work aligned with nonprofit recovery and rebuilding.

For 30 years, PACF has harnessed its expertise in local philanthropy to connect donors with causes they care about and provide grants and educational opportunities to nonprofits that serve the region, according to the statement.

In the early days of the pandemic, PACF partnered with other foundations, companies, and charitable individuals to assist nonprofits. The late Betty Wold Johnson, George H. and Estelle M. Sands Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Bunbury Fund, The Burke Foundation, Princeton University, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Fund for Women and Girls, NJM Insurance Group, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Princeton University Class of 1965, Janssen, Billtrust, Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Glenmede, Bryn Mawr Trust, and Investors Foundation were among the major funders, according to the statement.

While PACF raised more than $2.6 million for COVID-19 Relief and Recovery, the need is much greater. In this second phase, the funds were augmented because of a collaboration with other grantmaking funds at PACD, which includes The Bunbury Fund, the Community Impact Grants/The Burke Foundation Legacy Grants, and the Fund for Women and Girls, according to the statement.

“Our region has been devastated by the economic effects of the pandemic,” Jeffrey M. Vega, president and CEO of PACF, said in the statement. “In this round of grantmaking, we supplemented our COVID-19 Fund with grant dollars from several of our other grantmaking programs so we could help fund the work of many nonprofits.”

Prior to launching a third phase of COVID-19 Relief and Recovery funding, PACF plans to engage community members and organizations to better understand existing needs in the region, according to the statement. Intelligence gathered from this activity will inform the focus of the next wave of funding.

“Following a year that has wreaked havoc on our communities, in our third round of grantmaking, we hope to help local nonprofits continue on a path to rebuilding,” Sonia Delgado, a PACF Trustee who recently became chair of the COVID-19 Fund Grants Evaluation Team, said in the statement. “We’re grateful for the donations we’ve received, and we hope that more members of our community will consider contributing to the Fund so we can help as many of our neighbors as possible.”

In addition to the COVID-19 Fund, PACF is hosting the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, which to date has raised over $3.7 million, helping schools through its All Kids Thrive program, which is working to help students with connectivity and other needs, and has funded COVID-19 relief nationwide with more than $2 million in grants issued through its Donor Advised Funds. To learn more or donate, visit

COVID-19 Relief & Recovery grants were awarded to:

Food Insecurity

  • Arm In Arm, Trenton, for its Hunger Prevention Program, which is providing food to thousands of households through its traditional pantries, a mobile pantry and home food delivery service.
  • Calvary Baptist Church, Hopewell, through the Chubby’s Project, it delivers meals three times a week to 50 individuals and families, many of whom are elderly or have chronic health issues.
  • Help Self Community Development Corporation, Trenton, to deliver a daily meal to 150 seniors living in low-income senior housing in the city.
  • Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County, Princeton, to support its brick and mortar and mobile food pantries, which are expected to serve more than 22,000 people.
  • Meals on Wheels of Mercer County, Ewing, to support meal delivery to residents of Trenton, Ewing, Hamilton, Lawrence, Hightstown, Princeton, East Windsor and West Windsor.
  • New Jersey Agricultural Society, Bordentown, to provide meals for those facing food insecurity; its Farmers Against Hunger program feeds thousands of families and schoolchildren.
  • Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Southampton, to help Farmers Against Hunger and related programs provide least 6,000 pounds of produce to those in need.
  • RISE, Hightstown, to help with increased demand for food assistance, including the costs of pantry drivers, case managers, food storage and refrigeration space.
  • Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, Lumberville, its Farms to Families program distributes produce from local farms at emergency food popups at the Cure Arena in Trenton and surrounding areas.
  • Send Hunger Packing Princeton to provide food to families in need, including those whose children are in the free- and reduced-price school meals program.
  • Share My Meals, Princeton, to partner with local restaurants to prepare and deliver meals to up to 150 families and homeless individuals.
  • Snipes Farm & Education Center, Morrisville, Pennsylvania, to provide food to those in need in Trenton, Hamilton and Morrisville, including seniors, disabled adults, and homeless families.
  • Trenton Health Team, Trenton, to expand its research and data analysis of local food systems, with a focus on systemic issues.


Community Development/Social Welfare          

  • CASA for Children of Mercer & Burlington Counties, Ewing, to train volunteers who serve 225 foster children in Mercer County.
  • The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, Trenton, to train doulas and to provide counseling services to pregnant women and new mothers.
  • Every Child Valued, Lawrenceville to address food insecurity, prevent learning loss, and provide individual counseling and a Parenting in the Pandemic support group.
  • The Father Center (Formerly UIH Family Partners), Trenton, to increase and strengthen virtual education and job training programs for 800 men in the Trenton area.
  • HomeFront, Lawrenceville, to provide case management, food and diapers to about 100 vulnerable households living in local motels.
  • Isles, Trenton, for its Create the Peace program, which will use young people, respected individuals and groups to promote anti-violence messages.
  • Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Trenton, to hire a bilingual client advocate to help individuals navigate health care options in the city.
  • LifeTies, Princeton to buy laptops for young people, ages 18-24, in the transitional and rapid rehousing programs, so they connect to classes and support systems, such as tele-health.
  • NonProfitConnect (formerly VolunteerConnect), Princeton, which provides training for board members and educational programs for nonprofit leaders.
  • Passage Theatre Company, Trenton, to help the theater move its spring programming online, pay contracted artists and offer high-quality programming for children and adults.
  • Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and The Rescue Mission of Trenton, to create the Trenton Collaborative Warming Center, which is expected to serve up to 1,300 residents.
  • Trenton Circus Squad, Trenton, to help sustain its new virtual program, Trenton Circus LIVE, which supports children and teens through daytime and after-school programming.


Physical Health/Mental Health/Counseling Services

  • Foundation for Educational Administration, to help support a pilot program on trauma-informed instruction and help educators identify students with mental health needs.
  • Friends of Foundation Academy, Trenton, to support a series of mental health and wellness initiatives for students and their families.
  • KinderSmile Foundation, Trenton, to cover the surging costs of safety and protective equipment at the dental office that provides services to low-income children.
  • Millhill Child & Family Development, Trenton, to continue its teletherapy program for vulnerable individuals and families.
  • Trinity Counseling Services, Princeton, to provide therapy, education, programming and resources to vulnerable children and families in Princeton, Cranbury and West Windsor.


Childcare/Education/Youth Support

  • Boys & Girls Club of Trenton & Mercer County, Trenton, for its full-day virtual schooling and after-school programs, which provide childcare and help with remote learning.
  • Catholic Youth Organization, Trenton, to provide out-of-school programs for 75 children at two sites in the city; children, ages 5-12, do their schoolwork virtually at the programs.
  • Child Care Connection (CCC), Trenton, for Project Connect. CCC staff provide PPE and conduct non-clinical assessments of the mental health and well-being of family childcare providers.
  • Hamilton Township Public Schools, Hamilton, for mental health services, parental/community workshops and support, translations services, tutoring and resources for families.
  • HomeWorks Trenton, Trenton, to provide transportation, daily meals, and tutoring so its students can attend virtual classes at the nonprofit.
  • James R. Halsey Foundation of the Arts, Trenton, to provide a 9-week Let’s Film Program to 25 current and new students.
  • Mercer Street Friends, Trenton, to help fund reading specialists at Gregory Elementary School in Trenton, where more than half of first- through fifth-grade students read below grade level.
  • Puerto Rican Community Center (PRCC), Trenton, to purchase a device and a hotspot for its 90 preschool students engaged in remote learning.
  • Princeton Family YMCA, Princeton, to help support its Young Achievers after-school enrichment program.
  • Princeton Nursery School, Princeton, to offset additional PPE costs and higher demand for scholarships for children in its affordable preschool program.
  • Trenton Children’s Chorus, Trenton, to expand its Learning Academy, provide learning coaches, Kindle Fires and laptops for students.
  • Trenton Music Makers, Trenton, to help sustain pre-k and orchestra programs, and adapt them to a remote-learning format.
  • Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania, Princeton, to support arts programming, grounded in social and emotional learning, for 1,300 students at five Hamilton schools.

Housing/Rental Assistance

  • Anchor House, Trenton, to provide rental assistance and food, and to help students navigate remote learning; it serves runaway and homeless youth and their families.
  • Housing Initiatives of Princeton, Princeton to provide rental assistance and prevent evictions.

The Princeton Area Community Foundation promotes lasting philanthropy and builds community across Mercer County and central New Jersey. As a community convener, philanthropic resource and manager of charitable funds, it helps people and companies make effective charitable gifts and awards grants to nonprofits. Since its founding in 1991, PACF has made grants of more than $154 million and provided an additional $21 million in support to nonprofit fundholders. With over 400 charitable funds, in 2020, PACF awarded $19 million in grants to support the critical work of nonprofits in making the communities they serve more responsive to the needs of their residents. Learn more at

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