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Bright Side Covid-19 Feature Stories

Your Place At The Table Using South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund Grant To Feed Those In Need

Haddonfield, NJ – A $3,000 South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund grant has helped Your Place At The Table (YPATT), a New Jersey nonprofit corporation, continue their mission of providing food assistance to those in need.  

YPATT has experienced a twenty-five percent (25%) increase in food requests in their service area, including Harrison Township, Mantua, East Greenwich, South Harrison, and Elk, since the beginning of the Pandemic.

YPATT–a nonprofit started by families through Bible study at Trinity and Methodist Church in Mullica Hill–works with families, seniors, and single parents to provide food assistance to those in need. As part of the program, families visit once a month to pick up food items.  The group also delivers to individuals or families unable to visit the food pantry.  Last year, YPATT collected more than 25,000 pounds of food. With no state or federal food donations, Your Place At The Table has always relied on the generosity of the community.  

The South Jersey Response Fund grant allowed YPATT to buy additional food and special items such as milk. Prior to the grant, there were not enough funds or donations to fit special requests. Now, even with the large increase in food assistance needs, YPATT is able to meet the needs and even expand the program. 

“Many small nonprofits were unprepared for a crisis as overwhelming as the COVID-19 pandemic, said CFSJ Executive Director Andy Fraizer.  “The South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund was created to support organizations like Your Place At The Table assisting neighbors with the economic crisis.  Their work during this time is inspiring; CFSJ is proud to partner with them during this difficult period.”

“The generosity of the community and the Community Foundation of South Jersey during these unprecedented times is both uplifting and encouraging,” said YPATT Director Kristen Skrobanek.  “Fulfilling the needs of those who are hungry will continue to bring us together, and we know the strength and perseverance of our community will support our program in the months to come.”

The SouthJersey COVID-19 Response Fund continues to respond to local nonprofits that need support to serve communities impacted by the pandemic. To date, South Jersey nonprofits requested more than $6  million, while the Fund has raised $1 million. To support the only fund where donations stay in our South Jersey region, visit southjerseyresponsefund.org

About Your Place At The Table

Your Place At The Table is a volunteer-run organization that offers support and guidance, and a compassionate touch that builds confidence and restores self-worth.  The group is focused on nourishing individuals and families by partnering with the community to provide food and supplies to those in need.

About the Community Foundation of South Jersey

The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) envisions an eight-county region thriving where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give. The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region. CFSJ works with South Jersey philanthropists, local nonprofits, and neighbors to build capital, contribute assets, and create permanent endowments for impact in perpetuity. By aligning donor interests and using the investment earnings on each of its endowed funds, CFSJ makes grants and builds leadership within the community to create thriving, equitable, and livable communities for all. Currently, CFSJ manages assets of more than $23 million. CFSJ has issued more than $9 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships. Learn more about CFSJ at CommunityFoundationSJ.org.

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Bright Side Recent News

Federal Railroad Administration Announces More Than $500,000 to Deter Trespassing

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded more than half a million dollars in Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grants to law enforcement agencies today to support life-saving trespass abatement in multiple states.

“This money will help local law enforcement agencies deter people from taking unnecessary risks around railroad tracks, while continuing the focus on those specific populations that are known to subject themselves to such risks around railroad tracks,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said.

FRA is announcing funds, totaling $528,028, to 11 projects in six states: California, Florida, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina and New Jersey. The agency received a total of 23 eligible applications for the grant program.

In awarding the grants, FRA focused on trespass hot spots — geographic areas where law enforcement agencies have witnessed high instances of the behavior. Between 2014 and 2018, FRA research confirmed 4,721 trespass incidents resulting in 2,412 deaths in the United States.

This grant program exemplifies priorities outlined in FRA’s National Strategy to Prevent Trespassing on Railroad Property, which the agency issued in 2018. These include funding and developing partnerships among stakeholders well-positioned to assist their communities.

In making these grant selections, FRA afforded preference to 10 states with the highest numbers of trespass-related incidents. FRA then considered geographic diversity and applicants using innovative approaches to saving lives.

Law enforcement agency grantees will report their programmatic outcomes, ensuring agencies meet project goals through the activities negotiated in their agreements with FRA. These agencies will also provide other activity details, including the rationale for the selected enforcement activities. This information will contribute to the wealth of research FRA incorporates into its national life-saving efforts.

“Local law enforcement officers know these areas and the residents’ needs, so we’re investing to help them serve their communities,” Batory said. “This work and resulting information will help us save even more lives.”

FRA will provide law enforcement grants to cover officer wages for the projects below. Read more about the projects here.

California

  • Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board Reducing Trespassing on Caltrain Right-of-Way — Up to $48,500
  • San Bernardino Police Department Operation Safe Rails — Up to $80,000
  • Southern California Regional Rail Authority Metrolink Trespasser Reduction Task Force — Up to $50,008

Florida

  • Broward Sheriff’s Office Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grant — Up to $80,000
  • City of Jacksonville Railroad Trespassing Education and Enforcement Project — Up to $20,100
  • Hollywood Police Department Trespassing Pilot Grant Program Operation Fast Track — Up to $50,000
  • Tampa Police Department Trespassing Prevention Program — Up to $41,920

Massachusetts

  • City of Fitchburg Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Program — Up to $7,500

Montana

  • Billings Police Department Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grant — Up to $50,000

North Carolina

  • Greensboro Police Department Railway Trespass Initiative — Up to $40,000

New Jersey

  • New Jersey Transit Police Department FY19 Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grant — Up to $60,000
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Bright Side Police & Fire

Department of Justice Awards $2.2M for Innovative Community Policing Projects

NEWARK, N.J. – The Department of Justice announced on July 7, 2020 $2.2 million in grant funding to law enforcement agencies and stakeholders through the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) Community Policing Development (CPD) Microgrants Program. COPS Office Director Phil Keith announced 29 awards with award amounts ranging from $15,090 to $100,000. 

In the District of New Jersey, the state Department of Law and Public Safety is receiving a $34,350 grant for its Officer Safety and Wellness Program and Howell Township is receiving a $93,357 grant for its Youth Engagement Program.

“These funds will provide additional resources for the development of policing strategies that will improve the way law enforcement interacts with the people they are sworn to protect,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “This comes at a crucial time, as we work to refine and enhance community policing strategies.”

“The CPD Microgrants Program is a critical resource to advance innovative community policing projects across the country,” Director Keith said. “These strategic investments from the COPS Office pay huge dividends to state and local law enforcement agencies and the communities that they serve.”

CPD Microgrants Program funds are used to develop the capacity of local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies to implement community policing strategies. Applicants were invited to propose demonstration or pilot projects to be implemented in their agency that offer creative ideas to advance crime fighting, community engagement, problem solving, or organizational changes to support community policing in one of the following areas:

  • Human Trafficking
  • Meeting Rural Law Enforcement Challenges
  • Officer Safety and Wellness
  • Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention
  • School Safety
  • Staffing and Allocation Studies
  • Victim-Centered Approaches
  • Violent Crime
  • Youth Engagement

Funding through this program is available for the first time since 2018, following the successful removal of a nationwide injunction. These awards are being announced at a critical time for our country, when community policing strategies are very much needed to improve police and community relations.

To learn more about CPD Microgrants, click here.

For additional information about the COPS Office, click here.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of the agency by clicking here.

The complete list of awards can be found by clicking the image below.

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Bright Side Community Calendar

Appel Farm Offers Virtual Private & Small Group Lessons This Summer

Appel Farm Teaching Artists and Appel Farm Arts Camp Instructors are teaching lessons online to help our community stay creative over the summer! Sign your creative kid up for one-on-one instruction in music, theatre, visual arts, photography, and more. We are adding Teaching Artists and lessons all the time, and you can always reach out with your ideal lesson. We will most likely be able to match you with a Teaching Artist and get you started.

Missing your friends? Get together with 2-5 friends for a Small Group Lesson. You can all join the same class from your own houses, and learn together. Rehearse scenes, write songs, collaborate on an art project, write poetry and have group critiques.

 Lesson Details:

  • Private and Small Group Lessons run July 6-August 14, 2020.
  • Choose 3 or 6 weeks of weekly lessons.
  • Lessons are designed for young artists ages 7 to 17; lessons may be available to other aged-students on request.
  • Private Lessons cost $30 per 1/2-hour lesson, and $60 per 1-hour lesson.
    $90 for 3 weeks of 1/2-hour lessons
    $180 for 6 weeks of 1/2-hour lessons
    $180 for 3 weeks of 1-hour lessons
    $360 for 6 weeks of 1-hour lessons
  • Small Group Lessons cost $30 per 1-hour lesson, per student, up to 5 students.
    $90 for 3 weeks of 1-hour lessons
    $180 for 6 weeks of 1-hour lessons
  • Lessons will meet on Zoom, an online platform that is accessible from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. We will provide information on how to download the Zoom app, and help you throughout the summer with any support you need.
  • Lessons are taught by Appel Farm Teaching Artists.

How to Register:

  • Browse through our roster of Teaching Artists and Lessons below.
  • Click the Schedule Lesson button.
  • Choose a Lesson. Lessons are 30 or 60 minutes, for 3 or 6 weeks.
  • Choose a Teaching Artist.
  • Scroll to the week of July 6th, and click on each day to see when the Teaching Artist is available.
  • Choose a Day and Time for your first lesson. We will set you up for recurring lessons on the same day and time for the number of weeks you selected.
  • Enter your information, and click on the Book Appointment Button.
  • Click on the Submit Payment button to complete your registration and pay the fee.

Visit our website for more information and registration: https://appelfarmartscamp.org/private-small-group-lessons/

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Bright Side Feature Stories

Camden County Library Kicks Off 2020 Summer Reading program

(Voorhees, NJ) – The Camden County Library System is excited to announce the start of its 2020 summer reading program. Readers can log their summer reading minutes online to earn digital badges, as well as to be entered in weekly drawings for e-gift cards.

This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story.” Families can sign up and add up to 12 readers by visiting read.camdencountylibrary.org. Participants are then encouraged to log their minutes at least once per week to be entered into that week’s drawing.

There are four programs: Early Readers, Elementary Readers, Middle & High School Readers, and Adult Readers. In all four programs, readers will reach milestones and earn digital badges by logging their number of minutes read.

“It is always important to keep our children and tudents reading throughout the summer, and it has never been easier thanks to the library’s robust catalog of online and electronic resources,” said Freeholder Melinda Kane, liaison to the Camden County Library System. “Reading is key to the growth and development of young minds, but the best part of the summer reading program is that it incorporates the entire family. Signing up and logging your minutes is simple and easy, and the library even has recommended reading lists for children of all ages to make finding your next favorite story as easy as possible.”

Recommended reading can be found by clicking here. Most titles can be borrowed as e-books or audiobooks with a library card.

Established in 1921, Camden County Library System seeks to meet the recreational, informational and educational needs of its customers with locations in Camden, Bellmawr, Gloucester Township, Haddon Township, Merchantville, Winslow Township and Voorhees Township.

The Library is governed and supported by the Camden County Board of Freeholders and the Camden County Library Commission.

For more information about the Camden County Library System, visit us online at http://www.camdencountylibrary.org/ or by calling (856) 772-1636.