FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 20, 2017


DCA Also Announces $10,000 Grant Award for Promise Garden Initiative

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ –  As part of the Christie Administration’s “Season of Service,” New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richman, New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Elizabeth Connolly, and DCA and DHS staff today volunteered at the Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick where they helped prepare and serve lunch for soup kitchen guests. Commissioner Richman also announced the award of a $10,000 grant through the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) to Elijah’s Promise for the Promise Garden, a premier urban agriculture demonstration site and community garden in the heart of downtown New Brunswick.

The Promise Garden site offers 50 raised beds for local residents to grow healthy produce in the city. The garden includes an Apiculture Project, an Apple Orchard, and Promise Compost, which diverts over 10,000 pounds of plant-based food waste from Promise Catering and creates new compost for use improving garden soil. The garden also serves as an outdoor classroom for New Brunswick Elementary School students who participate in Let’s Cook for Kids. In July 2017, Promise Garden hosted over 60 elementary students to learn about growing and harvesting healthy fruits and vegetables and inspired kids to learn more about local food, soil, and pollinator production. Promise Garden also offers a variety of community events including story slams, musical performances, and educational workshops. In this way, the garden celebrates food production and community roots.

Elijah’s Promise harnesses the power of food to break the cycle of poverty, alleviate hunger, and change lives. They fight to end hunger by serving food at their community soup kitchen, providing education and jobs in the food industry through the Promise Culinary School, encouraging neighborhood agriculture at the community garden, offering social services to those in need, engaging in community advocacy, and creating social enterprise food businesses that further social good.

To learn more about Elijah’s Promise, visit or call 732-545-9002 for more information.

Since 2011, Cabinet officials have participated in approximately 350 service opportunities throughout the state – volunteering at food banks, soup kitchens and shelters serving meals; packing boxes; or delivering meals. They have also helped in recovery and rebuilding after Sandy as well as focusing on drug abuse and addiction and the work being done to overcome the disease.

Tammori Petty
(609) 292-6055