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Northern NJ Community Foundation Partners With Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative to Help Underresourced Residents in Bergen County

February 2, 2017

unnamed(Englewood, New Jersey; February 2, 2017) — Throughout January, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s (NNJCF) Community Engagement Program collected dental products for Bergen County’s underresourced residents.  The program partnered with Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI), a nonprofit based in Hackensack, New Jersey that provides healthcare to uninsured residents.

Many of BVMI’s patients have never seen a dentist.  With the costs of dental products not covered by food stamps, their patients often cannot afford to purchase them.

“We are so grateful for the support of the North Jersey Community Foundation, whose generous donation of dental care supplies benefited BVMI’s patients.  Often, our patients have never seen a doctor, let alone a dentist.  Oral care is crucial to overall health and by providing our patients with the tools they need to take care of themselves and their families, a step has been made toward improving the overall health of our community,” said Amanda Missey, Executieve Director, BVMI.

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 66,000 adults in Bergen County do not have health insurance and 8,580 adults are eligible for subsidies and may be unable to afford the premiums, deductibles and co-pays.  A Center for Disease Control 2014 study reported 38% of adults aged 18-64 and 37.6% of adults over the age of 65 did not have a dental visit, while among adults ages 18-64, approximately 27% have untreated tooth decay.

Bergen County residents donated a range of dental products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, dental floss, and denture cleaner among others to the NNJCF and to its ArtsBergen initiative’s first 2017 Connect the Dots networking event — Connect, Collaborate & Create.  The NNJCF presented the dental products collection to BVMI on January 25th at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Student Union Building in Teaneck, New Jersey.  Artists, arts administrators, writers, business owners, nonprofit representatives, and community and municipal leaders participated in the drive.

The collection carried out the NNJCF’s mission to promote cooperation and civic engagement in the community to address pressing issues and concerns.  “The NNJCF continually asks, ‘What can we accomplish together that we cannot do alone?  Accomplishing this drive with the BVMI is an ideal example of what can be done working together to assist underresourced members in our community,” said Michael Shannon, President, NNJCF.

For further information about the NNJCF, upcoming Connect the Dots events, volunteer opportunities or other community engagement projects, call 201-568-5608 or send an e-mail to nnjcf@nnjcf.org.

About NNJCF

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Englewood, New Jersey, focuses primarily on education, public health, civic engagement, environment, and the arts.  NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life.  Foundation partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other and by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

For more information, visit http://www.nnjcf.org, send an email to nnjcf@nnjcf.org, or call (201) 568-5608.  Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy.  The initiative’s mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts.  For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an email to artsbergen@nnjcf.org, or call 201-568-5608.

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The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s President, Michael Shannon, presented the Foundation’s collection of dental products to Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative’s Amanda Missey and Samantha Poremba. Photo Credit: Samuel Lee


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