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Bright Side Covid-19 Feature Stories

Jewish Family Service Receives Grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for $60,000 to Fund Wellness Network and COVID Relief Fund

(Pictured left to right): Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties Chief Executive Officer Andrea Steinberg previously accepted a check from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey Senior Program Officer Jennifer Goudy to support the JFS Wellness Network program. This partnership provides resources for the JFS Wellness Network to assist Atlantic County residents who have chronic conditions and experience barriers to care to identify healthier personal goals, create care plans and adopt self-management practices. (Photo provided)

Margate, NJ (May 26, 2020) – Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties has been selected to receive a $60,000 grant from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. The grant earmarks $40,000 for JFS’ Wellness Network and $20,000 for the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

“The generous Wellness Network grant will assure that our programs and events, specifically focused on the health of individuals with mental illness, will continue seamlessly for residents throughout the county, especially during this unprecedented time,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS’ Chief Executive Officer.

For years, the Wellness Network (WN) has provided a lifeline for more than 500 Atlantic County residents who have one or more chronic conditions and experience barriers to care. The Wellness Network encourages individuals to identify healthier personal goals, create care plans and adopt self-management practices. JFS’ experience shows that WN’s innovative care coordination and patient advocacy services result in better health outcomes and a reduction in preventable hospitalizations.

“Horizon is pleased to support the important work being done by Jewish Family Service,” said Jonathan R. Pearson, Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. “The Wellness Network and COVID Relief Fund align with Horizon’s commitment to helping our members access the resources they need to manage their health. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey works across the state with grantees who share our commitment to improving the health and communities we serve,” he added.

While still providing its dozens of programs, including Wellness Network, since March, JFS has seen a 35% increase in the Food Pantry use and more than 65% increase in Kosher Meals on Wheels program. In addition, the JFS Shop at Home program grew by more than 200%. With many neighbors, especially older adults without transportation or concerned about their vulnerability of being in public, these programs are essential to ensure they remain safe and well-cared for in their home environment.

“The grant for JFS’ COVID relief efforts will assure we can continue to supply the services and resources needed to residents in our community. With many people either unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic, the need for food has more than doubled and this grant will enable JFS to keep its Food Pantry well-stocked for individuals and families,” explained Steinberg.

Jewish Family Service Receives Grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for $60,000 to Fund Wellness Network and COVID Relief Fund

For more information on JFS programs and services, visit www.JFSatlantic.org or on social media at JFSAtlantic.

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Feature Stories Recent News

New Jersey American Water Offers Wise Water Tips for Warmer Weather

With the spring season in full swing and summer on the way, New Jersey American Water is offering tips to customers to help avoid the water overuse pitfalls that frequently happen this time of year. These tips and insights are designed to help customers save money while alleviating stress on water supplies and infrastructure as we head into the warmer weather months.

“More families are home and venturing to their yards to engage in outdoor activities, many involving an increase use of their water,” said Thomas Shroba, vice president of operations at New Jersey American Water. “Unfortunately, many customers don’t think about the amount of water they are using ‘in the moment’ and the reality hits when they get a higher water bill. Our goal is to raise people’s awareness and help them be proactive with simply tips they can implement now and save later.”

New Jersey American Water wants to remind people of the value and finite supply of water, while empowering them with tips they can use every day to reduce usage and save money. Here are some wise water tips for outdoor water use:

  • Reuse it. Use water from rain barrels and kiddie pools for watering lawn and gardens.
  • Embrace the bucket! Instead of using a running hose, use water contained in a bucket for washing cars and pets, and rinsing sandy/grassy feet.
  • Timing is everything. Only water during the coolest parts of the day (early morning or evening) to minimize evaporation. Also, be aware of which plants don’t need to be watered every day.
  • Odd/Even Watering of your lawn. Watering your lawn uses a lot of water, so only water your lawn when it needs it. Generally, lawns only need an inch or so of water per week.
  • Rain delay. Watch weather forecast to avoid “Mother Nature” re-watering your garden, which could also damage plants.
  • Pick your plants wisely. Purchase varieties that require less water and remain hearty in drier weather. And don’t forget to mulch (only 2-3”) to help with water retention.
  • Be a leak detective. Find and fix leaks and breaks in hoses, sprinkler systems and pipes. For help, download New Jersey American Water’s Leak Detection Kit at newjerseyamwater.com under Water Information.
  • Raise the blade. Raise the level of your lawnmower blade to avoid lawn burnout and the need for watering.
  • Keep an eye out. Watch your sprinkler’s “sweep” to make sure all the water is reaching vegetation that needs it and not the pavement! Check this frequently in case a person or animal has accidentally redirected your sprinkler.

More tips for indoor and outdoor water use can be found on New Jersey American Water’s website at www.newjerseyamwater.com.

“We’re encouraging people to be smart about their water usage. By following these wise water usage tips, we hope customers see how easy they are to implement and begin to make year-round water conservation practices a part of every-day life,” said Shroba.

In addition, the company wants to remind lower income customers that they may qualify to receive assistance in paying their water bill through New Jersey American Water’s H2O Help to Others Program. For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com/H2OProgram.

About New Jersey American Water
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million people. For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook

About American Water 
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Feature Stories Recent News

Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency Now on YouTube

The Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency recently went live with their newly established and dedicated YouTube channel, BellmawrRedevAgency, which can be found by clicking here.  

The medium will provide the Agency with the opportunity to post content to include online meeting and informational videos and presentations.  The channel is also accessible via the Agency’s official website, BellmawrRedevAgency.org, by clicking the YouTube icon located in the “News” section on the home page.

“Given the current limitations & restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the Agency has been hosting monthly regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners through an online portal with public access”, commented Joshua Tregear, Executive Director for the Agency.  Tregear continued “By launching the official YouTube channel, the Agency is reinforcing our commitment to transparency.  In addition, we hope to utilize this dynamic platform to its fullest capabilities by sharing informative content on the Agency’s projects under management.”

Regular Meetings of the Board of Commissioners of the Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency will continue to be hosted via an online portal until further notice.  The meetings will be recorded, and then posted to the Agency’s official YouTube channel BellmawrRedevAgency.  

About Bellmawr Redevelopment Agency

As the Borough of Bellmawr’s lead agency for redevelopment and brownfields environmental management, the BRdA works closely with the Borough’s Mayor & Members of Council, state agencies, private and non-profit developers, and members of Bellmawr’s residential and business communities to help the Borough achieve its development goals.  Bellmawr is a borough in Camden County, New Jersey, with a population of 11,600, and is 3.110 square miles in area, and the 12th largest municipality out of 37 within the County.

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Bright Side Feature Stories

Jewish Family Service is Ready to Help with Services

Jewish Family Service staff member Christopher Barone helped sort and bag groceries for residents picking up the non-perishable items from the agency. The JFS Food Pantry, located in the Margate office, is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 2pm for individuals and families in need of food and basic essentials. (Photo provided by Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties)

Margate, NJ — As most of us continue to wade through the unknown waters during this unprecedented time, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties continues to be a resource in the community to help residents. Whether you need food for your family, counseling for an anxious relative or programs to keep older adults connected and engaged in these uncertain times, JFS is here for you.

The JFS Food Pantry is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 2pm and will provide individuals and families with hearty, non-perishable food including tuna, peanut butter, soup, canned vegetables and snacks for children.  In addition, we have diapers, wipes and select baby food. Since the shelter in place order, and businesses either shuttered or significantly reduced hours of operation, we understood that our neighbors may become unemployed or underemployed and therefore, need help feeding their families.

In the past two months, JFS has experienced a 35% increase in food requests and provided nearly 700 families with essentials throughout our county. Our shelves are stocked and we have developed a contactless process to receive food. The JFS Food Pantry is located at 607 North Jerome Avenue in Margate. For those unable to visit the pantry, call the Access Center at 609-822-1108 x1 to explore alternate pick-up locations or delivery possibilities.   

We understand that the COVID-19 crisis has affected people differently and everyone adapts to the changing landscape in not the same manner. For people who need assistance during a time of heightened anxiety, stress and uncertainty, JFS offers telephonic counseling. Our Counselors, Therapists and Case Managers are accepting new clients to assist whether you are experiencing feeling overwhelmed, having trouble coping with change or needing an outlet, JFS is here to help.

While the pandemic has altered the manner in which we meet with clients, our staff continues to see and speak with clients via video conferencing and telephone calls to deliver services.

At JFS, we have Village by the Shore, for adults over the age of 50. As part of this program, we offer groceries delivered right to your front door. In addition, ready-made meals are also delivered weekly. As of mid-April, Village by the Shore was providing more than 100 meals per week with a 67% increase in members using the program.

The Village is also offering virtual social events for its members including Memoir Workshop, crafting and home exercises to name a few. These events allow people to interact virtually with their friends and enjoy a fun time in the midst of our ever-changing environment.

Village by the Shore is a membership program that provides care coordination, transportation, intergenerational events, Kosher meals and more.

To learn more about receiving Village services or participating in virtual programming, call 609-822-1109. 

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities. With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry. The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life. In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.

For more information or to keep up-to-date with events and programs, visit JFS at jfsatlantic.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Bright Side Covid-19 Feature Stories Recent News

Capturing Unique Family Images with ‘Porchraits’

Abdullah Anderson, Sr., Octacia Anderson, Abdullah Anderson, Jr., and Amira Anderson of Galloway stocked up on supplies, curriculum and exercise during their quarantine. Abdullah, Jr. has a special reason to make sure he keeps in shape – he plays defensive end for the Chicago Bears football team. (Photo provided by Photography by Randee)

Margate, New Jersey (May 11, 2020) – With schools across the nation experiencing canceled classes, sporting events, proms and graduations, Atlantic City High School teacher Randee Rosenfeld decided to spend her spring break photographing South Jersey family ‘porchraits.’

As the owner of Photography by Randee, she knows the impact and memories a photograph brings to individuals and families. In her business, she usually photographs beach portraits, weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and more. So, when the pandemic struck, she shifted her business focus in a new photography direction with the Front Porch Project which was being done around the country.

Photographer Randee Rosenfeld, wearing her custom face mask, photographed 65 families throughout Atlantic County in their unique ‘porchraits.’ (Photo provided by Photography by Randee)

With the help of social media, she started a quest to capture the poignant porch moments of families throughout Atlantic County – Margate, Linwood, Northfield, Galloway, Absecon, Ventnor, Somers Point, Egg Harbor Township, Smithville, Brigantine and Mays Landing – and her campaign paid off. All total, Randee photographed 65 one-of-a-kind family porch portraits.

With many individuals and families sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, being able to gather outside and express yourself in pictures was a fun and engaging way for people to come together for a keepsake image.

While no payment for the portrait was required, families could make a donation to Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties.

Pictured left to right: Ella Marie, Patrick John and Emma Grace Freehan of Brigantine celebrated their three Class of 2020 graduations together. Photo provided by Photography by Randee)

“There are many people offering acts of kindness in some fashion or another. I knew that by taking pictures, individuals and families would have a memento when they share their story with future generations about this time in their lives,” said Randee Rosenfeld. “I wanted to give people something tangible, and also support a wonderful organization like JFS, and this idea made the perfect project,” she added.

In total, Randee collected donations of nearly $2,000 which will help support JFS’ services and programs our community needs during this unprecedented time.

Pictured left to right: The rollerblading family of Russel, Danielle, Ella and Abby Bergeron of Galloway found a great way to use some essential household supplies while taking a break to play a friendly game of cards. Photo provided by Photography by Randee

For more information on how you can help JFS or make a secure on-line donation, visit jfsatlantic.org.

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities. With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry.

The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life. In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.
For more information or to keep up-to-date with JFS events and programs, visit www.jfsatlantic.org or follow on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.