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USDA Rural Development Administrator Joaquin Altoro and Senator Robert Menendez Announce $2.13 Million Investment in Six NJ Organizations to Impact Rural Health Care and Food Security

Release Date

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, NJ, Aug. 11, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Rural Housing Service Administrator Joaquin Altoro joined USDA Rural Development State Director Jane Asselta and New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez today at Cape Regional Medical Center to announce a total of $2.13 million in grants to help six organizations expand critical services for healthcare and food security.

USDA Administrator Altoro said, “USDA Rural Development is proud to have partners like New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez who understand that investing in healthcare and community facilities contributes to the overall well-being, economic development and sustainability of rural America.”

USDA Rural Development State Director Jane Asselta said, “I am really pleased that USDA Rural Development can provide Cape Regional Medical Center, Inc., with an Emergency Rural Health Care Grant in the amount of $989,300 to help them purchase critical, potentially life-saving medical equipment, and provide the best care possible to their patients. USDA Rural Development is committed to ensuring that people in New Jersey’s rural communities have access to quality healthcare in the communities where they live, work, and raise their families.”

In New Jersey, six organizations have been selected to receive a total of $2.13 million through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program:

  • Cape Regional Medical Center, Inc. receive a grant in the amount of $989,300 to purchase essential equipment to outfit Covid treatment bays with a negative pressure unit air handling system along with dedicated radiology equipment including CT-scan, X-ray, and ultrasound to reduce waiting time for testing and diagnosing, and providing more efficient, personalized high-quality care.
  • Zufall Health Center, Inc. has received two grants:

    • The first grant is in the amount of $314,500 to purchase equipment and expand their pharmacy services. This project will increase the number of clinical and dispensing pharmacists, and drivers to deliver medications and COVID-19 vaccines. The personnel expansion and additional equipment will allow them to address future COVID -19 waves more efficiently in the Town of Newton, New Jersey. 
    • The second grant is in the amount of $309,600.  This grant is for the purchase of equipment and the expansion of their call center. This project will increase the number of available call center representatives and triage nurses. The personnel expansion and additional equipment will allow Zufall Health Center Inc. to handle the increased call volume by addressing current and future COVID-19 waves more efficiently in Newton, Dover, and Hackettstown New Jersey.
  • Dorothy Volunteer Fire Co. has received a grant in the amount of $28,900 to purchase a self-loading contactless stretcher. This stretcher will provide enhanced safety protocols to be followed while providing patient transport to the hospital from Weymouth Township, Estell Manor, and portions of Maurice River Township.
  • Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center, Inc. has received a grant in the amount of $340,700 to reimburse them for added expenses attributed to providing more food to residents throughout Salem County during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes additional salary expenses, packaging materials, utilities for the distribution center, extra food purchases, COVID-19 personal protective equipment, and volunteer support materials.
  • Flemington Area Food Pantry, Inc. has received a grant in the amount of $121,600 to purchase and install necessary equipment for their food pantry annex in Flemington, NJ that primarily serves two senior housing developments in Hampton and Flemington, New Jersey. This includes a walk-in freezer, pallet mover and a generator. 
  • Northwest New Jersey Community Action Program, Inc. has received a grant in the amount of $32,000 to purchase additional warehouse equipment to aid food storage/retrieval and a vehicle to deliver food to pantries with limited or no mode of transportation throughout Warren, Sussex and Hunterdon Counties in New Jersey.

Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available in the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Programs through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. The Act and this program are examples of the government’s ability to respond quickly to ensure every person and family has access to high-quality health care no matter their zip code.

USDA Rural Development promotes a healthy community and environment through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to make sure people, kids and families have access to the health care they need. The grants support the ability of rural communities to provide health care to the people and places in our country that often lack access.

The investments will help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing to administer COVID-19 vaccines and testing, build or renovate facilities, and purchase medical supplies.

Background: Emergency Rural Health Care Grants

Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021 to deliver immediate economic relief to people impacted by the pandemic. Within months after the Act’s passage, USDA responded quickly by making this funding available to ensure the long-term availability of rural health care services.

In August 2021, USDA made the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants available through the American Rescue Plan Act to help rural health care facilities, tribes and communities expand access to health care services and nutrition assistance.

The assistance is helping provide immediate relief to support rural hospitals, health care clinics and local communities. USDA is administering the funds through Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.



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