The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, has announced a $5 million pledge to nonprofits working to help New Jersey residents recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The largest commitment to date from a private foundation for Sandy relief and recovery efforts, the pledge includes an initial grant of $250,000 to the American Red Cross made immediately after the storm hit in support of the organization's relief efforts in affected communities. The foundation also pledged $250,000 to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to help replenish food banks, shelters, soup kitchens, and other agencies in hard hit areas of the state.
The remaining $4.5 million will be used to help with recovery, rebuilding, and social services support, including mental health for individuals and families in the state. Before determining how those funds will be distributed, foundation executives will meet with state and local government agencies, relief and service organizations, and civic leaders to assess needs.
"This disaster has affected our foundation family, our statewide community, and the organizations we work with to improve health in New Jersey," said former governor Thomas Kean, who chairs the RWJF board of trustees. "The values and guiding principles of our foundation compel us to respond in a compassionate and thoughtful way to both immediate and longer term needs of the people of New Jersey."