(Camden, NJ) – Not-for-profit organizations throughout Camden County will be eligible for up to $500,000 in grant funding as part of the Commissioner Board’s COVID-19 Community Recovery Grant Program. The grants are intended to support organizations which serve vulnerable and at-need populations within the county; provide on-demand pandemic-focused services that are critical to the county’s public health and safety response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and strengthen the county’s travel, tourism, and hospitality industries whose operations have been substantially affected by the pandemic.
“Camden County is home to some of the state’s finest nonprofit organizations, many of which have been working nonstop for nearly two years to help protect our residents and respond to this crisis,” said Commissioner Melinda Kane. “Just as we have used federal funds to support private businesses, we are launching this round of funding to ensure that these mission driven institutions are not left in the lurch as we prepare for the next stage of this new normal. We encourage all who meet the program criteria to apply.”
The grants are funded through a federal allocation of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act that was signed into law early in 2021. The bill is providing funding to local, county and state governments throughout the nation. This allocation will be part of $33 million in funds the Commissioners have made available this year to different hard-hit sectors of the community, including rental assistance and small business grants.
“Local nonprofits have been critical to supporting our communities throughout the pandemic, working around the clock to make sure South Jersey families have what they need to get by,” Congressman Donald Norcross said. “American Rescue Plan funds will provide the support nonprofits require and deserve to continue serving local families who need it most.”
Funds under this Program may be used to accomplish any of the three aforementioned objectives and may be applied retroactively as reimbursement of eligible expenditures or reductions in revenue incurred during the COVID-19 public health emergency from March 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, or prospectively to enhance existing programs, services, and expenditures that are necessary in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency for the period October 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.
“I’m proud of our Camden County Commissioners for providing a vital lifeline to many organizations in and around Cherry Hill, including veterans groups that have provided an invaluable resource for many of our most vulnerable residents during the pandemic,” said Cherry Hill Mayor Susan Shin Angulo. “When combined with the Township’s own programs, we will be able to emerge from Covid-19, stronger than ever.”
John Brouse, Commander for the American Legion Posts throughout Camden County and a Gulf War veteran, talked about the pain that organizations have been feeling over the last 19-months.
“On behalf of the 18 American Legion posts that reside within Camden County this grant could not come at a better time. Covid-19, unfortunately has forced many posts to close across the nation due to the inability to raise funds to support various veterans’ programs,” Brouse continued. “Our veterans deserve the best and these funds will help us continue our mission, assisting veterans within the great county of Camden.”
Applications must be submitted via mail or email by Nov. 30, by 5 p.m. The County is not responsible for late submissions and submissions that do not meet all terms and conditions of the program.
Asm. Bill Moen, who knows the value of a local VFW Hall, spoke about the importance of getting ARP assistance back into the hands of local nonprofits.
“COVID-19 has left no stone unturned in its devastation — from our local households to our small businesses, so many have felt the financial impact from the pandemic. Sadly, our VFW and American Legion posts were not spared from this damage.” Moen said. “As the son of a disabled Vietnam veteran and member of my local VFW Auxiliary, I know firsthand that our VFW Halls and American Legion Posts aim to foster a sense of camaraderie among veterans, military personnel and their families while also advocating on their behalves and providing support and assistance when needed. This grant program will truly be lifesaving to our posts that were not able to operate and raise funds for a good portion of the pandemic. Getting help to our local veteran organizations will ensure that we have their backs, after they’ve had our backs defending our freedoms.”
In addition, other nonprofits who have been providing essential services throughout the pandemic are applying for funding as well. Kathy White, the chief operating officer of Volunteers of America Delaware Valley spoke about the impact this money can have on nonprofit budgets.
“The ability for nonprofits to access these funds will be vital for organizations to continue to provide or expand critical services into the communities we serve, especially during the pandemic,” White said. “I want to thank the Commissioners for implementing this program and the formulation of this grant initiative for VOA and so many of our partners.”