Also by Reinvestment Fund

Child Nutrition Fund

The New Jersey Child Nutrition Fund (NJCNF), created and administered by the Reinvestment Fund and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides capital funding and technical assistance for federal nutrition program sponsors, sites, and meal vendors to expand the availability of fresh and nutritious food to children across the state of New Jersey.  

The application window for NJCNF COVID-19 Emergency Meal Grants is now closed. You can view the press release announcing awardees and also see the award summary below. Organizations can still apply for Program Expansion Awards.

Program Expansion Awards 

NJCNF supports organizations that participate or seek to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and/or the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to reach one of three goals:

  1. Increase Program Participation: expand an existing program or start a new program
  2. Improve Meal Quality: increase the use of fresh, local and ethnically appropriate food
  3. Strategically Adapt to COVID19: redesign a program or adapt a facility to safely continue meal service during COVID19 disruptions

To achieve these goals, NJCNF offers business planning services and grant and loan funding for predevelopment activities to childcare operators, community-based organizations and food vendors that participate or seek to participate in CACFP and SFSP. Business planning support and grant funds aim to expand or enhance existing programs and/or to establish a new meal program.  

Through a rolling application process, funding will be available to fund planning activities, and in some instances, implementation awards will be made to support the execution of capital projects and/or facility plans. Interested applicants must complete a Contact Sheet and provide information about their proposed project. 

  • Planning Awards – Organizations will be asked to initially apply for planning grant awards to support predevelopment activities such as engineers and other professional fees, or training and technical assistance in business planning, program administration, and implementation strategies from consultants—either pre-identified or matched through this program. Planning awards range from $5,000 to $50,000. 
  • Capital Investment and Implementation Awards – Demonstration of ability to execute proposed projects is a prerequisite to obtaining Capital Investment and Implementation Awards. Funding will be made available in the form of grants and loans, to support project financing for equipment, facilities, or contracts receivable. Funding consideration will be made based upon project need and organizational profile. Implementation awards may support a portion of projects sized up to $5 million. 

For more program details, download our brochure. 

Eligibility for Program Expansion Awards 

Before applying, please ensure your organization meets the following eligibility criteria: 

  • Organization is located in or supports programs in New Jersey AND qualifies as: 
  • An organization aiming to establish a CACFP or SFSP meal program; 
  • An organization aiming to expand or enhance an existing CACFP or SFSP meal program; or 
  • A food vendor aiming to expand or enhance the food quality provided to CACFP or SFSP meal programs. 
  • Non‐profit or for‐profit organization. 
  • Ability to demonstrate organizational capacity to meet program goals and requirements. 

** Priority considerations will be given to applicants located in areas with little to minimal access to these services, or with project locations in rural New Jersey. 

To Apply for Program Expansion Awards 

To Apply: 

Application will be accepted on a rolling basis until October 1, 2020. Interested applicants must complete a Contact Sheet and provide information about their proposed project. Eligible organizations will then be invited to complete a full application.

For more information, contact:


Contact Sheet

NJCNF Emergency Meals Grant Awardees

NJCNF offered flexible and streamlined capital grant awards to help current Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors, sites, and vendors continue meal service in response to COVID-19 disruptions. The application window is now closed. The awards are intended to meet the immediate capital and operational needs of organizations as they work to respond to the evolving crisis, as well as enable organizations to strategically plan for evolving needs and expansion possibilities over the coming months.

  • 54 total applications received from launch on April 21 to June 23, 2020.
  • $700,425 in grant awards to 41 organizations participating in CACFP and/or SFSP and serving emergency meals during COVID-19 disruptions.
  • Of the total, $315,870 (45%) was awarded to 29 sites for facility improvements and infrastructure.
  • $385,555 (55%) supported the increased costs for program adaptation and the continuation of meal service through hazard pay, staffing, PPE, increased cost of food, and other general operating needs.
  • 73% of awardees are organizations participating in CACFP; 41% of awardees are organizations participating in SFSP.
  • 76% of awardees are early childhood education providers who either remained in operations or continued meal programs while closed, often expanding meals to siblings.
  • 24% of awardees include community recreation centers, food pantries, summer camps, other community-based organizations, and one food vendor.
  • 66% of awardees met location priorities of being southern and/or rural New Jersey, or in communities less likely to be served by their school district.
  • Of the total awardees, 76% are women-owned or controlled organizations and 54% are owned or controlled by people of color.
  • These funds have supported operations serving 75,000+ meals on a weekly basis, for estimated over 1 million meals during spring and summer 2020.

Grants support organizations that are addressing rising food insecurity among children and families in New Jersey. NJCNF offered a total of $700,425 in grants to help current CACFP and SFSP programs continue meal service in response to COVID-19 disruptions. Learn more about the awards in the NJCNF Emergency Meals Grants Awards Summary.

Project Partners

Advocates for Children of New Jersey – ACNJ works to identify children’s needs through research, policy and legal analysis. Reinvestment Fund’s Policy Solutions team has partnered with ACNJ on research to expand participation in CACFP.

Hunger Free New Jersey – NJCNF partners with Hunger Free New Jersey and the Food for Thought Campaign in its advocacy efforts to ensure that every single New Jersey child has healthy food to eat, every single day.

News & Resources




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