At its monthly Board Meeting today, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Board of Directors approved a grant for the Community Food Bank of NJ in the amount of $1.5M.
These funds will support an annual commitment from the CRDA to support and sustain ongoing and increased food distribution efforts for 2021 with a target of providing nearly 5 million meals in Atlantic City and greater Atlantic City area over the next 12 months.
“Helping to feed families in need in Atlantic City is fundamental to recovering from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this funding commitment, the CRDA will continue to partner with key stakeholders to address food insecurity and service Atlantic City residents and casino employees adversely affected by casino closures during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CRDA Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy.
Last year, the CRDA funded roughly $1.14 million in grants that addressed food insecurity in Atlantic City through the support of large scaled food distributions throughout the city. These efforts focused on assisting out of work or furloughed casino employees as well as Atlantic City residents. This resulted in over 65,000 people being assisted with over 2 million pounds of food distributed from May 2020 through December 2020.
“The approval of this grant will continue to build upon the foundation established from last year’s efforts to address food insecurity and will address key areas of programmatic expansion, community network investment which include the 65 emergency food distribution organizations in the greater AC area and investing in expanding the capacity of food delivery through fleet expansion to meet the increased food demand,” said CRDA Executive Director Matt Doherty.
Funds will be used toward the continuing of large-scale food distribution events at Bader Field on a monthly basis for the first two quarters of 2021, with the intention of transitioning and reducing service levels by 25-30% each quarter. This will occur in tandem with the ramp up of support to local food network organizations to become prime locations for food procurement.
The CRDA Board also approved the execution of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Teamsters Local 331, which represent approximately 50 members within the Special Improvement District Division for the period October 1, 2020-September 30, 2023.
“The Teamsters agreement is a win for CRDA Special Improvement Division employees,” said CRDA Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy. “The labor force in any organization is its greatest resource and providing full-time employment will not only maximize the resources (in Atlantic City) throughout the year, it will eliminate cyclical unemployment for those individuals.”
“We have a commitment to reducing social inequalities and it was important for us to identify and take the opportunity to address those matters within our own workforce,” said CRDA Executive Director Matt Doherty. “We are proud to have a favorable agreement with these SID employees to help improve their economic well-being through benefits and access to health insurance.”
About the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, the Authority's mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state's key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA's expanded responsibilities now include land use regulation, tourism marketing and clean and safe initiatives. The CRDA also oversees Historic Boardwalk Hall (the leading entertainment venue of its size in the country) and the Atlantic City Convention Center. In total, CRDA has invested nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide, of which $1.8 billion has been invested in Atlantic City, spurring business investments and expansions, and creating permanent jobs in the process. For more information about CRDA and our projects, visit www.njcrda.com, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.