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Pascrell, Sayegh Announce $4 Million Health Literacy Grant for Paterson

Sizable federal award will help vaccinate more Patersonians

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh today announced a $4,000,000 federal grant to improve heath literacy and increase vaccination rates in Paterson. Today’s Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 grant is part of the Biden Administration’s larger efforts to encourage COVID-19 safety and vaccination among underserved populations.

"Despite the progress we’ve made, COVID-19 remains a dire threat to our health and safety. Federal awards like this will help our communities protect themselves and I am proud to have played a part in securing it for Paterson,” said Rep. Pascrell. “I helped pass the massive American Rescue Plan so we could get ahead of this virus and keep Americans safe. I’m very glad to see President Biden is committed to the same goal. With his administration’s investment in communities like Paterson, I know we will defeat this virus once and for all. This is tremendous news for our city.”

“Paterson received national recognition for our city’s response to the pandemic and this federal grant will help us vaccinate even more residents and be prepared for a future crisis,” said Mayor Sayegh. “We are profoundly grateful to Congressman Bill Pascrell for his leadership and advocacy in Washington.”

As part of President Biden’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, the Administration announced an effort to invest $250 million to encourage COVID-19 safety and vaccination among underserved populations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) will offer the funding as health literacy grants to localities, who will partner with community-based organizations, to reach racial and ethnic minority, rural, and other vulnerable populations. This new initiative – Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 – is expected to fund approximately 30 projects in urban communities and 43 projects in rural communities for two years. Cities, counties, parishes, and other similar subdivisions may apply for the funding.

Since the outset of the pandemic, Rep. Pascrell has worked to secure millions in emergency federal funding to aid New Jersey in its fight against the virus. He helped pass both the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan, both of which continue to provide lifesaving funds for New Jersey. He was a vocal advocate for state and local aid in both packages, a provision which has saved countless jobs of teachers, first responders, and other public employees after the American Rescue Plan was signed into law.

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