Beyond town and gown

July 27 marked National New Jersey Day, which gave us a chance to highlight our home-state pride on social media. But our commitment to New Jersey goes far deeper. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the University has been joining relief efforts across the state through food-nutrition programs, PPE donations, blood drives and volunteer opportunities, among other initiatives.

Princeton University Relief Fund: Funded by an initial $1 million University commitment, the Princeton University Relief Fund (PURF) is providing direct support to community organizations that are working to alleviate economic distress related to COVID-19 among individuals and businesses.

Addressing food insecurity: In collaboration with the Princeton Public Schools and three area nonprofits, Princeton University’s Summer Food and Nutrition Program is providing meals for local at-risk families, children and individuals throughout Mercer County. Campus Dining has also donated a range of perishable and nonperishable food items to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and Arm in Arm.

Donating personal protective equipment: The University has been identifying and delivering personal protection equipment (PPE) — including gloves, masks, respirators, surgical gowns and other items —to support statewide pandemic-response efforts as well as emergency services in Mercer County, the Municipality of Princeton and West Windsor Township.

Blood drives: In partnership with the American Red Cross, the University has held a series of community blood drives over the past few months that have drawn hundreds of donors. For more information on donating blood, visit the American Red Cross website.

Volunteering in the community: Faculty and staff are offering their time as volunteers through the University’s Special Activities and Resources Group (SARG), which matches appropriate volunteers with relevant projects.

Here’s to looking out for each other and remaining “Jersey Strong” every day of the year.

Stay safe and healthy.
Michael Hotchkiss, Ayana Gibbs, Jess Fasano, and Ben Chang