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Philadelphia Dunkin’ Franchisees Keep Local Healthcare Heroes Running with Coffee & Gift Card Care Packages

In efforts to lift spirits and help keep healthcare professionals running amidst the COVID-19 health crisis, local Philadelphia-area Dunkin’ franchisees have donated Dunkin’ packaged coffee, Dunkin’ Keurig® K-Cup pods and gift cards to eight local hospitals.

Throughout the Philadelphia region, Dunkin’ has donated a combined 528 pounds of Dunkin’ ground coffee (retail valued at $4,747), 210 boxes of Dunkin’ Keurig® K-Cup pods (retailed at $1,888) and $30,000 in $5 Dunkin’ gift cards amongst the following hospitals.

  • Cooper University Health Care
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
  • Christiana Care Health System
  • Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania – Penn Medicine
  • Temple University Hospital

“On behalf of everyone at Dunkin’, we want to send a heartfelt thank you to the heroes across America who are tirelessly protecting our communities – the doctors, nurses, first responders and everyone on the front lines of this crisis,” said Perry Shah, Dunkin’ Franchisee and Chairman of the Dunkin’ Philadelphia Advertising Committee. “As local business owners who live and work in the communities they serve, our franchisees are committed to supporting those keeping our country running during this crisis, and we are proud to have the opportunity to give back.”

These donations were made as part of a larger care package to say “thank you” to those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. To date, the brand has donated nearly 8,000 pounds of Dunkin’ packaged coffee, 3,700 boxes of Dunkin’ Keurig® K-Cup pods, and more than 39,000 Dunkin’ gift cards in care packages distributed at 170 organizations on the frontlines of relief efforts across the country and counting.

In late March, The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation activated $1.25 million in emergency funding to support community-based health and hunger relief organizations across the country during the COVID-19 health crisis. Today, the Foundation announced that $30,000 of that funding was granted and delivered to the Food Bank of South Jersey ($10,000), Nationalities Service Center of Philadelphia ($10,000), and Philabundance ($10,000) to help meet the pressing needs within the local community.

These grants are part of a commitment by Dunkin’, Dunkin’s Foundation, and Dunkin’ franchisees to provide health and hunger organizations with the support they need, as many are seeing a significant increase in the volume of people they serve and are facing unprecedented and costly challenges in the wake of the pandemic.

Dunkin’ has also launched an online gift card site, DunkinCoffeeBreak.com, so that guests in Philadelphia and across the country can send a Dunkin’ eGift Card as a small token of appreciation to thank a doctor, nurse, first responder, teacher, grocery clerk, postal worker, neighbor or any hero in their life. For every card purchased at this site, Dunkin’ will donate $1, up to $100,000, to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation emergency funds, specifically for nonprofits helping families affected by COVID-19.

The majority of Dunkin’ U.S. shops are open and have limited service to drive-thru ordering, carry-out, and delivery, with a select number of locations also offering curbside service.

For more information on Dunkin’ and the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s COVID-19 relief efforts, please visit dunkindonuts.com.

About Dunkin’

Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ is America’s favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin’ is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced regular/decaf/flavored coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories. Dunkin’ has earned a No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for 14 years running. The company has more than 13,000 restaurants in 41 countries worldwide. Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin’ is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For more information, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com.

About the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation
The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, the charitable foundation supported by Dunkin’ and the generosity of its franchisees, guests, vendor partners and employees, provides the simple joys of childhood to kids battling hunger or illness. The Foundation partners with food banks, children’s hospitals and nonprofit organizations to fund joyful environments and joyful experiences for kids when they need it most. Since 2006, the Joy in Childhood Foundation has granted more than $25 million to hundreds of national and local charities across the country. For more information, please visit www.bringjoy.org.

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Six Tips to Celebrate Earth Day Without Leaving Home

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 can be a good time for everyone to take some time to get outside, even if current conditions mean a community event to celebrate isn’t available. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to honor the Earth in your own backyard. 

“You don’t need to leave home to celebrate Earth Day. Remember, nature starts at your back door,” explains Kris Kiser, President of the TurfMutt Foundation, an organization that encourages outdoor learning experiences, stewardship of green spaces, and care for living landscapes for the benefit of all.

“Get outside, mow your lawn, trim bushes, plant a butterfly bush. By becoming a steward of your yard, you are helping the planet. At the same time, you’re supporting your health and well-being, which is increasingly important as families spend more time at home.”

What You Can Do:

Here are six tips to celebrate Earth Day without ever leaving home:

  1. Get outside. Your backyard is an outdoor living room and safe place for pets and kids to play. Science proves spending time in your family’s yard is good for your health and well-being, and so important today as everyone looks for creative ways to stay well while being confined to the home. Researchers have found that people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.
  2. Make the outdoors a family project. Take your loved ones outside to assess your space. What’s working well? What could be improved? What can you plan to do together in your backyard? Anything needing to be cleaned up? Make a plan to expand or spruce up your yard.
  3. Connect kids to nature. Free, online, do-at-home lesson plans are available from the TurfMutt.com. The environmental education program resources and activities, based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles, give kids the prompts they need to have fun learning about and exploring the nature and science in their own backyards.
  4. Know your climate zone. Learn about climate-zone-appropriate plants, the importance of pollinators, and how backyards can support local wildlife. Conduct a plant inventory to determine what’s currently thriving in your backyard. Match that up against the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine the best types of turf, trees, shrubs, and plants for the climate zone. 
  5. Keep pollinators in mind. Your yard is an important part of the connected ecosystem providing much- needed food and shelter for pollinators, such as birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and other creatures. Select a variety of plants that will bloom all year long. The Audubon Society’s database can help determine which birds will be attracted to which plants for unique regions so you can make good choices about what to plant. 
  6. Plant, prune or mow. Staying confined to home base doesn’t mean gardening and yard work have to stop. Order garden supplies online or have them delivered from a nearby nursery. Mow the lawn and trim bushes. 

Research shows people who gardened for at least 30 minutes a week had lower body mass indexes (BMIs)—a measure of body fat—as well as higher levels of self-esteem and better moods overall. They also reported lower levels of tension and stress.

Learn More

For further facts and tips on saving the planet one yard at a time, go to www.turfmutt.com.

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Municipal Aid Applications Being Accepted for Nearly $165M in FY21 Grants

On April 13, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announced the grant solicitation period for NJDOT’s Fiscal Year 2021 State Aid programs, including Municipal Aid, as well as the Transit Village, Bikeway, and Safe Streets to Transit programs, is open with applications being accepted starting Monday, April 13 through July 1, 2020.

“Municipal Aid grants provide funding to our cities and towns to make needed road, bridge, safety, and quality-of-life improvements on local roads,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.  “These grants, along with funds provided through our Transit Village, Bikeway, and Safe Streets to Transit programs, help maintain the state’s comprehensive transportation network in a state of good repair and demonstrate the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Commitment to Communities.”

In 2019, NJDOT shifted the grant cycle to better allow municipalities to incorporate awarded projects into upcoming municipal budgets. This provides more certainty for local governments and helps get important infrastructure projects to construction sooner.

Grant awards are expected to be announced in November.

The following is a brief description of each grant program:

  • Municipal Aid – This $151.25 million program has been a significant resource in funding local transportation projects.  All municipalities are eligible.  The Department continues to encourage municipalities to consider using the Municipal Aid Program to fund projects that support walking and biking in their communities especially now that additional funds are available.  An additional $10 million is provided in Urban Aid for a total of $161.25 million.
  • Transit Village – This program will award grants totaling $1 million for traditional and non-traditional transportation projects that enhance walking, biking and/or transit ridership within a half mile of the transit facility.  Only New Jersey municipalities that have been designated as Transit Villages by the Commissioner of Transportation and the inter-agency Transit Village Task Force are eligible to apply.  The eligible town list can be found at:  http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/business/localaid/transitvillagef.shtm
  • Bikeways -This $1 million program is intended to fund bicycle projects that create new Bike Path Mileage.  It is available to all counties and municipalities.  The Department continues to work toward the goal of achieving 1,000 miles of dedicated bikeways in New Jersey.  Special consideration will be given to bikeways that are physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier, but on-road bike lanes and other bike routes and facilities are also eligible for funding.
  • Safe Streets to Transit – The intent of this program is to encourage counties and municipalities to construct safe and accessible pedestrian linkages to transit facilities, in order to promote increased usage of transit by all segments of the population.  A total of $1 million is available for grant awards.

The grants are administered by the NJDOT Division of Local Aid and Economic Development. The Local Aid Resource Center, created last year, provides one-stop shopping for local government managers by providing hands-on resources for the application process, raising awareness of grant cycles and proactively communicating program information.   

For more information about Local Aid programs go to www.njdotlocalaidrc.com; email DOT-LocalAID.ResourceCenter@dot.nj.gov or call 609.649.9395.

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Uber donates 3,500 Meals to Cooper University Health Care Staff

As a way to thank healthcare workers on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber is donating 3,500 free meals to employees at Cooper University Health Care.

Cooper employees will receive a promo code they can use to receive a free meal up to $25 on the Uber Eats app or through the Uber Eats website (www.ubereats.com) for an estimated value of more than  $87,000 total.

“We are most thankful for this generous donation,” said Robert A. Ortiz, Jr., J.D., Interim Director & Vice President of Development for The Cooper Foundation.  “This is a perfect example of how corporations and businesses are supporting our healthcare workers, and I thank Uber for their incredible partnership and willingness to supply a free meal to those who are working around the clock at Cooper.”

“We’re proud to play a small role in supporting the courageous frontline healthcare workers at Cooper University Health Care and first responders fighting the COVID-19 epidemic across New Jersey. All of us are in this fight together,” said De’Shawn Wright, Senior Manager for Public Policy at Uber.  

Each code can be used once for up to $25 off an order from Uber Eats. To use the code, an individual opens the Uber Eats App and adds their item to the cart from whichever restaurant they choose. The individual, upon moving through the checkout process, will add the specific code where it says “Add Promo Code”

The 3,500 free meals is part of Uber’s larger commitment to provide 10 million rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need.

The Cooper Foundation established a COVID-19 Assistance Fund in response to numerous requests to support Cooper University Health Care during the pandemic.

To learn more about the COVID-19 Assistance Fund, please visit foundation.cooperhealth.org/covid-19.

To make a donation of critically needed PPE supplies, please email COVID19Assistance@cooperhealth.edu

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Two Charged in Glassboro With Endangering and Disorderly Conduct After Authorities Learn of Child’s Birthday Party With 15-20 People Present

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today urged all New Jersey residents to do their part to beat the COVID-19 pandemic by staying home and maintaining social distance during this holiday weekend, as law enforcement continues to strictly enforce Governor Murphy’s emergency orders.

“It is hard this holiday weekend to miss loved ones and forego traditional family get-togethers, but it is absolutely critical that we all stay home and maintain social distance,” said Attorney General Grewal. “There are indications that these measures are indeed flattening the curve of this pandemic in the U.S., but if we let our guard down now by traveling for holiday gatherings, more lives will be put at risk. The vast majority of New Jerseyans are doing the right thing by following the emergency orders. As for the few violators, we will continue to hold them accountable with strong enforcement efforts this weekend. I urge you to support our courageous officers, who are on the frontlines of this battle, by not creating more work and risks for them during the holidays.”

“This holiday weekend is traditionally a time for many New Jersey residents to come together for religious services and family gatherings, but we are not currently living a traditional lifestyle,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “It is imperative that we continue to work together to practice social distancing and travel only when necessary. These preventative measures are proving to be effective, but we must stay the course to ensure the safety of everyone as we continue to move in the right direction towards flattening the curve.”

Attorney General Grewal and Colonel Callahan announced the following recent enforcement actions against violators of Governor Murphy’s Emergency Orders related to COVID-19:

  • John R. Mason, 34, , and Shaheeda Hobdy, 32, of Glassboro, were charged by the Glassboro Police on April 7 with endangering (third degree) and disorderly conduct. Police responded to a report of a large party at the defendants’ apartment and learned that they were holding a birthday party for a child with 15 to 20 people present, including several small children.
  • Kenneth D. Robles, 40 of Cherry Hill, was charged by the Pennsauken Police on April 9 with violating the executive orders for opening his business, Top Notch Barber Shop in Pennsauken. He was cutting a client’s hair with the windows covered and a roll-down gate over the door.
  • Newark Enforcement. The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 25 summonses for violations of the emergency orders and ordered two non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions yesterday, April 10.
  • William Wolverton, 50, of Egg Harbor Township, was charged yesterday, April 10, with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency in connection with his arrest on April 1. While being processed on weapons and drug charges, Wolverton was told he was being charged on a warrant and would be lodged in the county jail. Wolverton allegedly said he was COVID-19 positive and was going to infect everyone in the station. He refused to submit to fingerprints, spat on the floor and toward an officer, and refused to comply with booking procedures.
  • Miles Costabile, 21, of Hamilton (Mercer County), was charged early today by the Robbinsville Police Department with second-degree terroristic threats and DWI. Costabile was taken into custody for DWI after he crashed into a fence. While being processed at police headquarters, he allegedly coughed at officers and stated that he had COVID-19.
  • Karin E. Fialka, 47 of Whitehouse Station, was charged yesterday, April 10, with violating the executive orders for opening her business, Up In Smoke Vape Shop on U.S. Route 202 in Raritan Township, after she was previously warned that she needed to close the shop.
  • Aziah Hansford, of Passaic, was charged by the Passaic Police on April 9 with disorderly conduct. He was involved in a fight on Market Street. When police arrived, he allegedly told an officer he had the coronavirus and hoped that the officer would get it from their interaction.
  • Alex Nugent, 19, of Randolph, and Christopher Aro, 19, of Stanhope, were charged with violating the executive orders and possession of marijuana, both disorderly persons offenses, after their vehicle was stopped by police in Stanhope on April 8 for a motor vehicle violation.
  • Elizabeth Enforcement. The Elizabeth Police Department’s issued five summonses for violations of the emergency orders in enforcement actions on Thursday, April 9.
  • Mahmud Ibn-Dawud, 63, of Elizabeth, was charged yesterday, April 10, by the Elizabeth Police Department with violating the emergency orders for refusing to leave a city park.
  • Pearl Moore, 54, of Elizabeth, was charged yesterday, April 10, by the Elizabeth Police Department with violating the emergency orders for loitering outside without a legitimate purpose after being warned.

Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, violators can potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses.

On April 1, Attorney General Grewal announced enhanced charges against six individuals who were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and violating the emergency orders. Specifically, those enhanced charges included making terroristic threats during a state of emergency, which is a second degree offense and carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Defendants Wolverton and Costabile are similarly charged for their conduct against law enforcement officers.

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here covid19.nj.gov/violation

The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior.

No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas. COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes. Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.