The Fund for Women and Girls, a field-of-interest fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, accelerated payments and removed funding restrictions for a $75,000 multi-year grant to Arm In Arm in Trenton, New Jersey. These actions allow Arm In Arm to address the most urgent food and nutrition needs in the community resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

Arm In Arm is in the first year of a three-year grant for a mobility mentoring program in 2019 to assist single moms and their families with food, housing, and employment, crucial components on the pathway from poverty to financial independence. This important program will be implemented in the future. The first priority for Arm In Arm is to address the overwhelming needs for food among increasing numbers of families and children.

In just a few short weeks, Arm In Arm has seen neighbors in need of food nearly triple—a staggering statistic but not all that surprising, given the County’s 600% increase in unemployment. The organization expects that number to grow as the pandemic continues. Since late March, Arm In Arm has moved their bricks and mortar pantry operations to 100 percent mobile food delivery. The newly unrestricted grant award provided by the Fund for Women and Girls will bolster immediate mobile food efforts to combat hunger as well as homelessness prevention efforts to keep community members housed as we slowly shift to the recovery phase of COVID-19.

The Fund for Women and Girls is a diverse group of community members who together invest in nonprofit organizations that improve the lives of economically vulnerable women and children in greater Mercer County. Last year alone, the Fund made grants of nearly $200,000 to over a dozen nonprofits serving women and children in Trenton, Hightstown and Princeton.

“We are grateful for the continuing generosity of the Fund for Women and Girls, as changing our model of care in the midst of a pandemic has been nothing short of a Herculean task,” says Arm in Arm Executive Director David R. Fox. “Partners make more possible, and this has never been truer than in times of crisis. The Fund is an extraordinary partner, and together, we are committed to lightening the load of others with compassion, dignity, and respect.”

Arm In Arm and the Fund for Women and Girls continue to work together on creative and innovative ideas to achieve the goal of improving the lives of vulnerable women and children in our community through investment, education, and collaboration.

For four decades Mercer County families have turned to Arm In Arm for essential resources like food and financial support. Formerly known as The Crisis Ministry, Arm In Arm was founded in 1980 by leaders of Nassau Presbyterian Church and Trinity Church in Princeton to help community members who were struggling financially. Today more than twenty staff members and hundreds of volunteers welcome 4,000 families for over 21,000 visits to our food pantries, work with 600 at-risk families to prevent or end homelessness, and offer on-the-job training and job search mentoring every year. Arm In Arm believes it takes our whole community to ensure that everyone thrives—and when everyone is thriving, we all benefit.