The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced grants totaling $50 million to provide short-term relief to organizations assisting families and communities feeling the greatest strain as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
With the aim of supporting communities already facing health challenges, the grants will target basic needs such as food, housing, and income assistance for lower-income workers, communities of color, Indigenous communities, and people with disabilities. Grant recipients include Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, One Fair Wage, Catholic Charities, the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, NDN Collective, and the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition.
In RWJF's home state of New Jersey, which has been hit particularly hard by the spread of the virus, the foundation awarded grants totaling $5 million. Grant recipients include the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, the Fair Share Housing Center, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, and several community foundations.
"During this pandemic, we are seeing how important it is that everyone has access to high-quality health care. Millions do not," said RWJF president and CEO Richard Besser. "Health is also about making sure people have the ability to feed, house, and take care of themselves and their families. Unfortunately, in our society being able to live a healthy life can depend in large part on how much money you make, where you live, and the color of your skin. This crisis is making an already unfair system even worse, and that is completely unacceptable. It's critical that we make real and lasting improvements through community action and public policy in the months and years to come."
(Photo credit: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)