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New Jersey Child Nutrition Fund

Program History

The program was administered by Reinvestment Fund in partnership with Hunger Free New Jersey and supported by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

NJCNF emerged as a unique partnership between a community development financial institution (CDFI), advocates on the ground, and partners throughout the state, to increase child care facilities’ participation in federal child nutrition programs and expand the availability of fresh and nutritious food to children across the state of New Jersey.

From 2018 and 2022, New Jersey Child Nutrition Fund (NJCNF) offered resources to organizations working to expand the availability of fresh and nutritious food to children across the state of New Jersey. The program focused on building the infrastructure for organizations to provide meals through federal nutrition programs, supporting the families they serve and helping to expand access to meals.

Federal child nutrition programs offer key resources for states and organizations to address child food insecurity, yet New Jersey and other states access only a portion of available funding each year. NJCNF came out of research in 2018 by Reinvestment Fund and Advocates for Children of New Jersey recognizing the challenges of participating in federal child nutrition programs, and the need to invest in the organizations participating in these programs.

Between 2019 and 2022, NJCNF made a total of 96 grants to organizations that were participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and/or the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) by offering grants, technical assistance, and sector resources to federal nutrition program sponsors, sites, and meal vendors. Awards helped organizations to increase program participation, improve meal quality, and increase financial sustainability. During summer 2020, NJCNF Emergency Meal Awards helped 41 organizations continue meal service during pandemic disruptions, and in many cases expand meals served to siblings and other relatives. Learn more about these awards in the NJCNF Emergency Meals Grants Awards Summary.

Read some of our program impact stories:

Hunger Free New Jersey
Impact Story
Peekabook Childcare
Impact Story
Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center
Impact Story
Smart Start Academy
Impact Story
Love Ministries
Impact Story
Cafe BG’s
Impact Story

Project Partners

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. 

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. 

Resource Organizations

For more information, contact

Karen Bustard
Senior Program Manager