Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) is a university-wide initiative working to address the issues of hunger across the state of New Jersey. By bringing together the resources of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, RAH works to increase awareness of hunger, encourage advocacy and service to tackle hunger, stimulate research to assist those in need, and provide immediate relief through food drives and other events to raise money and collect food.
Drawing on expertise from throughout the University, RAH is organized through Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. It enlists the assistance of Rutgers students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the concerned public in efforts to raise awareness about food insecurity throughout our communities, stock food banks, and pantries, provide consumer education on nutrition, deliver technical and organizational support to community groups, and conduct research toward understanding and improving food security as well as food production, packaging, and distribution.
RAH was founded during the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009 in response to the increasing levels of food insecurity within communities throughout the state. Speaking to the need for RAH, former Rutgers president Richard L. McCormick noted at the time, “Rutgers has been New Jersey’s land-grant university for more than a century. As such, Rutgers and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station have pursued research and developed educational programs to benefit the state’s residents, farmers, and businesses. But as the economic crisis puts more children and adults at risk because they do not have enough to eat, we have a responsibility to do more to help them with our considerable resources in these areas.”
Today, as we face the health, social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities throughout New Jersey are faced with unprecedented risk for food insecurity. More than a decade since its inception, RAH is perhaps needed now more than ever.
RAH continues to partner with direct service providers throughout the state, including emergency food distributors (food banks and pantries) and social service organizations who can offer direct relief to the communities we serve. Additionally, as food insecurity among college students is increasingly recognized, RAH’s efforts have expanded to include collaboration with
and support of the Rutgers Student Food Pantries on the New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden campuses. For example, a collaboration between RAH, the Rutgers Student Food Pantry, and the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market helps food insecure students access locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. The No More Hungry Knights Café, organized by RAH, the Rutgers Student Food Pantry, and the College Ave Community Church, provides free lunches for food insecure students and residents near the College Ave campus of Rutgers- New Brunswick.
To learn more about RAH’s efforts in New Jersey communities, please contact us.
To support RAH’s efforts toward reducing food insecurity, please donate today.
RAH at a Glance
- Since its inception in 2008, RAH has collected more than 225,000 pounds of food and raised approximately $250,000 for food banks and pantries statewide.
- RAH partners with the New Jersey Federation of Food Banks to service over 1,500 local pantries throughout the state.
- SO RAH, Rutgers Against Hunger’s first official student organization, launched in September 2011.