We've received many questions about how our organization has adapted to address the COVID-19 crisis. If your question is not listed below, please reach out to us!
Are you open?
For more than 36 years, nourish.NJ has ensured that our neighbors in need have access to food and resources. We’ve never missed a day, and though our operations have shifted, we’re still here every day distributing food and offering services to our community. Our Free Farmers Markets are operating out of multiple locations in Morristown and Dover. We are still distributing takeaway meals and bags of groceries at 36 Sussex Avenue every day from 11:30-1. Our Outreach Center staff is always present, ready to offer support to individuals and families needing housing, employment, mental health, and other case management services.
Are guests still receiving outreach services?
Our Outreach staff continues to provide counseling, support, resource connection, housing services, and medical case management every day by phone, and now also in-person, operating safely with all necessary precautions. Since the beginning of this crisis, we have been proactive in reaching out to people in need through the many relationships we have in the community. We have also been working closely with the Morris School District, Morristown Housing Authority and Atlantic Health System to ensure everyone has access to the food, support, and services they need during this difficult time. Our Outreach team provides help to anyone seeking:
Medical case management and connection to health resources
Connection to mental health resources
Clothing, masks, and other household supplies
How are you protecting your staff? Do you have PPE?
The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests is our first priority. All meals and services are provided while adhering to social distancing guidelines. We have strictly limited the number of staff and volunteers on-site each day. We have been fortunate to have access to masks and gloves for all staff members, and have also distributed masks and gloves to hundreds of our guests.
How are homeless guests coping with this public health crisis?
We are deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our guests who are experiencing homelessness and are currently unsheltered. To make sure that they have what they need during this crisis, we developed a plan with Atlantic Health System and the County of Morris to ensure every person who tests positive for COVID-19 has a safe place to quarantine, and we have been coordinating their healthcare, services and concrete needs. We are hopeful that, through these partnerships and with continued advocacy, we will be able to secure permanent housing options for all of our guests experiencing homelessness.
What trends are you seeing in the community?
We are thankful that Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order suspending evictions for the duration of this public health crisis. However, if this “eviction moratorium” is lifted without additional protections for renters, tenants will owe thousands of dollars in back rent. With unemployment soaring, many families will be unable to make these payments and will need help. We are raising funds and working with community partners to help families and individuals in need of financial assistance during this unprecedented time.
We know that for many people in New Jersey this is just the beginning of the crisis. As workers become unemployed, schools continue to pursue distance learning, and the threat of eviction becomes real, secure housing is essential. Many people in the state will be struggling in ways we have never been seen before. During the 2008-2009 recession, low-wage workers were the hardest hit and the last to recover. We know that as this crisis continues to unfold our support and services will become more critical than ever.
How has the CARES Act helped nourish.NJ?
Early on, our Board of Directors made a commitment to retaining our staff and equipping our team with what they need to work remotely when possible. We were fortunate to be included in the first round of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and that has helped us continue to pay our staff. In addition, most of our staff were eligible for stimulus money. Unfortunately, because many of our guests live on Social Security or disability, or they work limited hours and didn’t file tax returns, they are not eligible.
We’re so grateful to be a part of such a generous and welcoming community, and have been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received during this time. While we are accepting donations of non-perishable food items on a limited basis, the best way to assist us at this time is by making a monetary donation through our website. Please also visit the Current Needs section of our website to learn about more ways to help. You will be directed to this section upon clicking "How can we help?" above.