Sustaining NJ’s small restaurants by feeding people in need

Grants of $14 million are expected to buy 1.5 million meals at more than 160 restaurants

As businesses and restaurants were forced to shut down last March because of pandemic-related restrictions, groups of neighbors got together to plot how to help out. One result is a program that’s likely to outlast this pandemic. Now the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is giving $14 million in grants to 27 organizations throughout the state to use the same model; the Sustain and Serve program provides money to nonprofits, which in turn buy meals from struggling restaurants and give them to those in need.

The restaurants must have 50 employees or less. The EDA expects this pool of money to cover the purchase of 1.5 million meals at more than 160 restaurants around the state. Leah Mishkin reports.

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