Princeton Area Community Foundation awards grants to nonprofits

[CentralJersey.com] Princeton Area Community Foundation awards grants to nonprofits

Grant funds were awarded to more than 60 nonprofit organizations in the area.

The Princeton Area Community Foundation announced the award of about $2 million in Community Impact and COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund grants to local nonprofits.

The organizations will use the funds – made possibly by generous community contributions – to work on a broad variety of needs in the community, including arts education, community building, education, food insecurity, health, supporting senior citizens and other vulnerable populations, and youth development received this funding, according to a press release through Princeton Area Community Foundation in Lawrenceville.

Funding was mainly unrestricted, giving organizations an opportunity to address the challenges of economic uncertainty due to the pandemic and inflation. Unrestricted grants in this round provide the flexibility organizations need to use the funding where it is most needed, which will help them build financial and programmatic resiliency.

“These nonprofits are doing impactful work in region, helping the most vulnerable among us,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, president CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are able to award these grants thanks to generous donors who have created funds over the last 30 years to support our community grantmaking and leadership.”

More than 40% of the funding was awarded to organizations working on education and youth development programs, followed by those working to help vulnerable populations and alleviate food insecurity.

Among the largest grants were $150,000 to Monroe Township’s Foundation for Educational Administration for its Healing Centered Engagement program focused on supporting schools, to help staff identify and help children experiencing trauma in Trenton, Hamilton and Lawrence schools, a $115,000 grant to Trenton’s Arm In Arm, which is working with Housing Initiatives of Princeton to prevent evictions, and a $100,000 grant to Mercer Street Friends, which is working with the Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County to expand its Community Schools model in Trenton.

Nine of the grants were awarded from the COVID-19 Fund, because vulnerable residents are still dealing with the lingering effects of the pandemic, such as learning loss and the mental health crisis among young people. The remainder of the grants were funded through the Community Impact Grants program.

Listed are nonprofits that received grant funds that impact the area.

Arts Education James R. Halsey Foundation of the Arts, Hamilton, was awarded a grant from the COVID-19 Fund to provide operating support for the organization, which provides high quality instruction in film and media to disadvantaged youth throughout Mercer County. Passage Theatre Company, Trenton, was awarded a grant from the COVID-19 Fund to provide general operating support for its 2022-2023 Season: Foundations for Our Future. It includes live and online productions, play development workshops, staged readings, studio classes, and classes for local schools and nonprofits. The theater will also partner with Rider University to produce a musical. Stretto Youth Chamber Orchestra, based in Princeton and Trenton, to help expand Trinity Strings, a weekend educational program in Trenton for children ages 4 to 18. Young Audiences NJ and Eastern Pa., Princeton, to help fund its Arts Impact Initiative at two schools. The model provides comprehensive, diverse arts programs directly to students and infuses the arts into schools to support student learning and creative school communities.

Education People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos, Lawrenceville, to help fund its current programs, which serve low-income and low-literacy population, as well as to allow the agency to expand its offerings at new sites.

Food Insecurity D&R Greenway Land Trust, based in Princeton, to expand its Community Sharing Garden at St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell and replicate it at Point Breeze in Bordentown. Both sites will host educational gatherings and work with community partners to provide fresh, organic produce to those in need. The Point Breeze Historic Garden is developed on a plot of land once owned by Joseph Bonaparte — former King of Naples and Spain and brother of Napoleon. Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County, Princeton, which runs brick and mortar and mobile food pantries. Princeton Mobile Food Pantry, Princeton, to support its distribution of fresh and healthy groceries to food-insecure Princeton residents. Share My Meals, Princeton, which recovers surplus meals from food providers and distributes them to local, food-insecure communities in the Princeton area. The organization distributes more than 5,000 meals per month. Shine and Inspire, Pennington, to help fund and expand its Shine and Inspire Closets program, currently in 19 Mercer County schools. Closets are stocked with toiletries and snacks for children in need, including some who are homeless. The Suppers Programs, Princeton, which partners with other nonprofits to provide access to nutritional information and educational programs, such as Healthy Cooking on a Budget. The Watershed Institute, Pennington, to provide healthy lunches for its campers, many of whom attend The Christina Seix Academy and the Center for Family Achievement.

Health Princeton Senior Resource Center, Princeton, to help the organization increase the participation of underserved residents, as well as fund DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) training and hire a coordinator of outreach and diversity.

Vulnerable Population Rise, Hightstown, for its “Together, We Rise” initiative, increasing its emphasis on offering opportunities to enhance individual skills, promote financial stability, and break the generational cycle of poverty for the families it serves. HomeFront Inc., Lawrenceville, for its motel outreach program, which serves more than 150 vulnerable homeless households, including about a quarter with young children. The organization provides services, including case management, access to children’s programs and delivery of medicine, diapers, toiletries and food, including hot meals. Lawrenceville Job-Training Partnership, Lawrenceville, which runs the WorkWell Partnerships – Moving Forward program, providing job and life skills training as well as job placement for previously incarcerated individuals. Womanspace Inc., Lawrenceville, to help offset costs, including food, transportation and case management for its Safe House Emergency Shelter. The organization received an additional grant from the COVID-19 Fund to help it handle a surge in domestic violence seen during the pandemic.

Youth Development Corner House Foundation, Princeton, to provide support for its holistic approach to treating substance use disorders             . Dress for Success Mercer County, Lawrenceville, for its Career Academy at Trenton Central High School, which provides free career clothing and accessories, as well as career mentoring and job preparedness workshops. Students can take their new skills and outfits to college, summer internships or job interviews. Every Child Valued, Lawrenceville, to underwrite administrative and operating expenses. Funding may also be used for programs, including its Breakfast, After School, Summer Enrichment and Tutoring and Mentoring programs for children living in Eggerts Crossing Village. HISPA Inc. (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement), Princeton, for its Role Model Program and Imagine Day – Corporate Visits program for English Language Learners at three Trenton Middle Schools, as well as its Ready, Set, GOals! HiTOPs, Princeton, for its Celebrating LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer) Youth! Program, which includes support groups for youth and parents, a youth drop-in center, a summer program, and educational programs for adults. HomeFront Inc., Lawrenceville, for its Children’s Champion program, which provides case management, support and access to behavioral and mental health therapy, along with healthcare, tutoring, and arts and recreational enrichment for homeless children, a population disproportionately affected by COVID-19. PEI Kids, Lawrence, to support its Crisis Intervention for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse and Juvenile Intervention Services programs. Princeton-Blairstown Center, based in Princeton and Blairstown, for its innovative Venture Out program. Working with Mercer Street Friends and the Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County, they will pilot a hands-on science program for Trenton middle school students. Princeton Nursery School, Princeton, to provide operating support for the organization, which operates a high-quality, affordable preschool and also provides assistance to students’ families. The school also received an addition grant from the COVID-19 Fund to help provide scholarships for struggling families because many of the parents lost jobs at the height of the pandemic. Princeton YMCA, Princeton, to help fund its after-school Princeton Young Achievers program, which helps economically disadvantaged children improve their school performance and academic skills. YWCA of Princeton, Princeton, for its LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) workforce development program, which includes college prep for teen girls; financial literacy for college-age women; mentorship matching, a leadership speaker series, and workshops on resume writing and interviewing.

The Community Foundation can assist donors who wish to provide additional funding to any of these nonprofits, which are making a difference in our communities every day. To learn more, contact the Community Foundation at 609-219-1800.