The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s Community Engagement Program is collecting dental products for Bergen County’s underresourced residents. During January, the program is partnering with Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI), a nonprofit based in Hackensack, New Jersey providing healthcare to uninsured residents, to collect and provide dental products to underresourced residents in the county.
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.
People interested in donating dental products should call 201-568-5608 to schedule a drop-off at the NNJCF’s office. Donations may also be brought to the NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative’s Connect the Dots first networking event, Connect, Collaborate and Create, on Wednesday, January 25 beginning at 4:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The program starts at 6:00 p.m. and will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Student Union Building in the Rutherford Room, located at 1000 River Road in Teaneck, New Jersey. The event is free and open to the public. The dental products collected will be distributed to the BVMI’s patients.
The collection is part of the NNJCF’s ongoing work to promote collaboration and civic engagement in the community. “Giving needed items, provides donors with a concrete sense of participation and satisfaction and the users with something they benefit from directly and immediately. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation is pleased to collaborate with the Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative in this effort,” said Michael Shannon, President, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.
Good Oral Health
“Before coming to BVMI, many of our patients have not seen a doctor in years, and may never have seen a dentist. We know good oral health is critical to maintaining overall good health, so giving patients the education and the tools for a healthy mouth is really important. But the tools are expensive, and when faced with buying food for their children or spending money on a toothbrush and toothpaste, our patients opt to feed the kids. We are very grateful to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation for collecting toothbrushes and other dental care items for our patients – it will make a huge difference!” said Amanda Missey, President and CEO of Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative.