May 22, 2020
We at NJHCN hope that this brief and targeted communique will help you navigate the constantly changing COVID19 world. As your partner in building healthy communities, we will curate the most useful and current resources to help you and your organization during this crisis and build capacity for the future.

Resources include:
  1. Official Information
  2. Resource Pages
  3. Grants and Funding
  4. Media
  5. Training and Development

All resources will also be posted on our website for ongoing reference. Please forward to colleagues, partners and friends who may benefit from this information.

Please send us any new resources or opportunities to share.
Grantee Spotlight
Center for Environmental Transformation
NJHCN Funder: New Jersey Department of Health
With interrupted supply changes and an increase in demand for people to grow some of their own food, The Center for Environmental Transformation held a seedling distribution. The response to the seedlings distribution this year was double that of last season. Both first time and seasoned gardeners were appreciative of the chance to grow their own food and their green thumb!

Official NJ COVID-19 Information
NJ COVID-19 Information Hub
The official COVID-19  Information Hub  for the  State of New Jersey . Find the latest news, guidance, resources, and support here.

Nationwide Child Nutrition Waivers in Response to COVID-19
Source: Food Research & Action Center
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the extension of three  nationwide waivers  through August 31, 2020. The extension of the nationwide waivers will help ensure sponsors and sites are able to effectively continue meal service during the summer months as communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following nationwide waivers have been extended through August 31, 2020.

  • Non-Congregate Feeding, which allows meals to be served outside of group settings. Meals can be distributed at a site where families pick up the meals, as well as be delivered to children’s homes.
  • Meal Service Times, which provides flexibility to the meal service time requirements by allowing service outside of the standard meal times.
  • Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children, which allows a parent or guardian to pick up meals to take home to children.
USDA also extended a fourth waiver  Meal Pattern Flexibility , which waives the requirements to serve meals that meet the meal pattern requirements on a case-by-case basis from May 31 to June 30.

NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline
Department resources for those concerned about their mental health, the mental health of someone they love, or someone who just needs a safe place to talk about their anxieties in this uncertain time include the NJMentalHealthCares helpline  1-866-202-HELP (4357) , available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week for free, confidential support by live trained specialists.

Also, a videophone mental health helpline is available to deaf and of hearing individuals in partnership with ACCESS at St. Joseph’s in Paterson. New Jerseyans can call the videophone helpline at  973-870-0677  for free, confidential support in American Sign Language from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A Service of
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey funded by the NJ Department of Human Services,Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Grants and Funding
Healthy Food Financing Initiative Targeted Small Grants Program
Sponsor: Reinvestment Fund
Deadline(s): Informational Webinar June 2, 2020; LOI July 10, 2020
The 2020 HFFI offers $3 million in grant funds for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities.

Special Call for COVID-19 Related Projects Focused on the Federal Nutrition Assistance Program
Sponsor: Health Eating Research
Deadline: Rolling through July 1, 2020
Healthy Eating Research has a limited amount of rapid-response research funds available to commission: 1) issue briefs/commentaries or papers/research reviews and; 2) small studies to explore the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on nutrition and diet quality, food security, and related health consequences for children and families.

News and Media
NJ Human Services Receives $2.8M for Mental Health Supports and Services Related to COVID-19 Outbreak
Source: NJ Department of Human Services
The New Jersey Department of Human Services has received more than $2.8 million in federal funding to support behavioral health services during the COVID-19 crisis. Funding will be used to expand access to counseling and other supports during the pandemic.

New Jersey to Launch Online Grocery Shopping for SNAP Recipients
Source: New Jersey Department of Human Services
New Jerseyans enrolled in the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be able to use their benefits to order groceries online through Amazon and participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers. NJ SNAP recipients will be able to use their benefits card to order groceries from Amazon starting on May 27. Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers that that provide online shopping will also accept online ordering with SNAP benefits starting on May 28.

The Farm to Food Bank Movement Aims to Rescue Small-Scale Farming and Feed the Hungry
Source: Civil Eats
Groups across the U.S. are developing new ways to get food from farms that have lost their usual markets into communities with a dire need for that food right now. These emergency food supply chains are feeding communities while also bolstering local agriculture and rural economies.

Training, Collaborations and Networking
Transforming Healthy Communities Work During COVID-19
May 28, 2020 - 2 pm ET
Sponsor: NJHCN
This pandemic brings home the great worth of NJHCN grantees' work to prevent chronic disease! We are all experimenting right now so please join the conversation to share how you are adapting and innovating in this new corona era world to keep working towards community health.

For example:
  • What will your community garden look like? 
  • How will you make farmers' markets safe and accessible?  
  • How are you gathering assessment data?  
  • Can you teach kids to garden even if they are not at school? 
  • How will you encourage safe use of new paths and parks?
  • How are community members helping you figure this all out?

Janet Heroux and the NJHCN coaches will guide the conversation.

Social Determinants of Health Symposium
June 2, 2020
Sponsor: Modern Healthcare
Experts will discuss the inseparable relationship between the social determinants of health and health outcomes. Industry leaders will provide challenges and successes, best practices, and strategies to effectively advance community health. The goal of this event is to address the systemic inequities that prevent members of our communities from experiencing good health. Fee: $99

  • Insights from 14 experts who are leading the charge in health equity through virtual panel discussions 
  • A full program of 6 informative sessions and
  • day-long education
  • The invaluable opportunity of learning how to effectively address social determinants of health