Community Impact Awardee’s Stories!

To celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2018, Partners for Health Foundation awarded 10 Community Impact Awards, and grants totaling $100,000, to recognize nonprofit organizations and individuals making a significant difference in the health and well-being of local communities. The awardees were selected from 65 nominations that cited contributions in areas such as hunger, homelessness, chronic disease prevention, oral health, and mental health.   We’re pleased share this update of how the Community Impact Award funds were used.

Award funding to Zufall Health Center, made in honor of Dr. Mario Szuchman, was used to purchase pediatric diagnostic and IT equipment.

KinderSmile Foundation used its grant to expand their oral health services to 425 students in the Bloomfield school district, and to support their grant writing efforts.

The Family Service League grant award, made in honor of Wally Weikert, was used to continue to provide low-cost counseling services for individuals, couples and families.  The majority of their clients (99%) qualify for reduced-fee counseling services based on their household income and size.

St. Peter’s Haven in Clifton was designated as the grant recipient by Community Impact Awardee Mary Rossettini, Clifton Homelessness Consultant.  Funds were used by St. Peter’s to support general operating expenses of the pantry, which serves an average of 940 individuals each month, and to renovate their emergency shelter property. 

Connections at Home puts computers, tablets and laptops into seniors’ hands to connect them with medical, community and social services. Their award funding supported a strategic planning effort.

Katie York, Director of Senior Services/Lifelong Montclair for the Township of Montclair and Ann Lippel, Chair of the Township’s Senior Citizens Advisory Committee, combined their Community Impact Award grant funds to increase access to on-demand transportation for Montclair residents 55+.  Grant funds will be used to subsidize up to 100 residents’ accounts through Ryde4Life.  Ryde4Life, part of EZ Ride, reduces transportation barriers by coordinating access to Lyft and Uber without the need for a smartphone. 

The grant to Aging in Montclair, made in honor of Carolyn Lack, helped to underwrite a seminar for seniors on a variety of free benefits, real estate tax rebates, and Township programs offered at Edgemont Park Field house and the Blue Angel program.  A second seminar on downsizing options is planned.

YMCA of Montclair used its grant for Mental Health First Aid training; to offer LiveSTRONG classes to 21 cancer survivors; and to bring 80 seventh-grade students on a field trip to Camp at the Lake.

The grant to the Human Needs Food Pantry purchased food, nutritional supplements and other items.  Hundreds of clients rely on the pantry for food assistance each week, including deliveries that are made to 220 individuals who are homebound.

The grant Toni’s Kitchen received, in honor of Anne Mernin, will support efforts to expand their reach by diversifying the food packaging options that are available for families and seniors.  Toni’s vision is to provide complete meals comprised of shelf-stable ingredients and protein in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way. 

City Green was able to move forward on an exciting opportunity as a result of this grant funding, the “City Green Farms at South Branch Preserve.”  This added farm acreage, which will allow City Green to grow more food, provide more vegetables in their farm stands and through their Veggie Mobile, increase food pantry donations, and support the training of new, young farmers in the area.

Sister to Sister

Funding was awarded to Sister to Sister of Montclair in honor of the late Adele Katz.  Sister to Sister was able to expand their mentoring program to two additional Montclair schools, as well as to provide additional college tours for high school students.