Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pledges Donation for Sandy Recovery [AUDIO]
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has amped up its efforts to aid in the long-term Sandy recovery for New Jerseyans.
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In the days right after the devastating storm, RWJF made a $250,000 grant to the Red Cross of Central New Jersey to support the agency's emergency services. Additionally, a $250,000 grant was pledged to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to help replenish food banks, shelters, soup kitchens, and other agencies in the hardest hit areas of the state.
Now they will do even more.
"And what we are committing to is another $4.5 million, so a total of $5 million, to help out in the recovery phase of Sandy," said Dr. John Lumpkin, Senior Vice President of the foundation's health care group.
The money will go towards rebuilding and social services support.
"Three months, six months, nine months down the road when all of the donations from outside the state go away, there are a lot of needs, like mental health needs and other health care-related needs that crop up," said Lumpkin.
Lumpkin says the long-term phase of the recovery is going to be crucial, especially the mental aspect as people return home to destruction after being displaced by the storm.
"We think there'll be a lot of problems that will need to be addressed, and we're going to commit money to help address them," he said.
Executives from the foundation will meet with state and local government agencies, as well as relief and social service organizations to assess needs around the state before determining how the funds will be dispersed.
"This is our home state, and what we hope to do is to ease the suffering of people who have been having their lives devastated by this storm. And we hope to make a difference."
First Lady Mary Pat Christie says, "I applaud the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on its proactive approach to helping ease the devastation wrought on our communities. It is the generosity and ingenuity of groups like RWJF that makes our state so unique and makes me proud to be First Lady."
You can learn more about the foundation by visiting www.rwjf.org.
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