September 29, 2009
Members of the Rutgers Community:
Today, Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) is launching its first Adopt-a-Family Campaign—a new project that will enable our community to offer its help in a more personal way to New Jersey families struggling with hunger and poverty. With the assistance of the School of Social Work, RAH will work with social service agencies across the state to identify families who can benefit from our assistance this holiday season.
Student clubs and organizations, fraternities and sororities, administrative and academic departments, and alumni and other groups are encouraged to adopt one or more families for whom they will provide nonperishable foods and other needed items (such as toiletries, baby supplies, and clothing items or nonelectronic toys under $15) in time for the December holiday season. Participants will receive a brief profile of each family they adopt so that they may personalize their efforts. Families will be assigned to participants after October 16 and donations will be collected by Rutgers University Facilities the week of December 7, prior to the end of classes. Please go to the RAH website for complete information about the Adopt-a-Family Campaign: http://rah.rutgers.edu.
RAH was launched last November to address the persistent problems of hunger and food insecurity in New Jersey. Through volunteerism, research, education, food collections, and fundraising, RAH has marshaled the resources and good will of our community to provide food and money to organizations that feed the hungry, as well as to seek long-term solutions to the complex issues that lead to hunger.
Your response to RAH’s call to action has been extraordinary. More than 45,000 pounds of food and over $105,000 have been donated by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Rutgers to date. Hundreds of you have volunteered in soup kitchens, baked pies, harvested crops, stocked pantry shelves, and organized fundraisers on behalf of RAH. In addition, we have identified dozens of research projects, academic courses, and consumer education programs at the university that deal with relevant issues. This summer, we partnered with Johnson & Johnson and the city of New Brunswick to establish a farmer’s market serving the neighborhoods near the Cook/Douglass Campus.
Hunger and poverty continue to cause great suffering in our state, particularly for families with children and people on fixed incomes. As the holiday season approaches, their needs become more poignant, so I hope you will be part of the Adopt-a-Family Campaign and give the gifts of your service, generosity, and compassion to those in need.
Richard L. McCormick
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey