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.
About the New Jersey Child Nutrition Fund (NJCNF)
The program aims to increase the number of low-income children receiving meals in childcare and community-based settings by increasing participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Additionally, NJCNF seeks to facilitate the use of fresh, local and ethnically appropriate food whenever possible.
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.
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.
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.
- New Jersey Department of Agriculture – Division of Food and Nutrition – administers the CACFP and SFSP programs in New Jersey and offers resources, trainings and technical assistance to program sponsors.
- Rutgers Cooperative Extension – Department of Family & Community Health Sciences – provides nutrition training and technical assistance for schools and families at the county level.
- NJ SNAP-Ed – provides nutrition and fitness education.
- Grow NJ Kids – New Jersey’s program to raise the quality of child care and early learning across the state, offers resources for providers to improve program nutrition.
- Nourishing Our Youngest Children: How to Expand the Child and Adult Care Food Program
- NJCNF Summer Meals Summit Presentation (December 2019)