United Way Receives Grant for Census Project

MEDIA CONTACT – Gloria Aftanski

United Way of Central Jersey is pleased to announce receipt of a grant from the Office of Faith Based Initiatives, a Division of Programs in the Department of State, which hosts the New Jersey Complete Count Commission to continue its advocacy efforts for a complete 2020 census count within Middlesex County. United Way will focus on increasing the count of young children ages 0-5 and their families residing within neighborhoods designated as Hard to Count (HTC) based upon responses to the 2010 census. Concentrating on increasing the count of young children ages 0-5 is a key component of United Way’s investment priority in evidence-based programming for children 0-5.

United Way’s partners in this project include the Middlesex County Office of Human Services, PRAB and Community Child Care Solutions. United Way is also actively involved with the Middlesex County Complete Count Committee as well as the New Brunswick and Perth Amboy Local Complete Count Committees. Gloria Aftanski, United Way’s President and Chief Professional Officer stated that “Based on the latest census estimates, approximately 19% of Middlesex County’s current population (or 155,951 people) live in HTC neighborhoods. Using Geographic Information System tools, United Way will strategically locate kiosks and mobile census support centers and will engage families residing within HTC neighborhoods with the assistance of census ambassadors and census outreach specialists. United Way will also help to amplify the New Jersey Complete Count Commission’s strategic marketing plan.”

Lawrence P. O’Connell, Chair and Chief Volunteer Officer with United Way indicated that “The United Way Board of Trustees affirms the importance of Middlesex County residents completing the 2020 Census to preserve and increase crucial federal funds supporting the availability of critical services such as Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP (food stamps), TANF, CHIP, WIC, Head Start, School Breakfast Programs and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Based upon the 2010 Census data, New Jersey received $22,726,090,249 to support 55 Federal Spending Programs”.

United Way invites all potential community partners to a meeting on Friday, February 21 at 10:00 am at its office on 32 Ford Avenue in Milltown. The meeting will outline the outreach plan approved by the Complete Count Commission and determine the specific outreach schedule in terms of kiosk and mobile support center locations and rotation among partners.