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Article written by Student Journalist- Elham Bassam

Many of the communities that we live in and are surrounded by are suffering from the lack of access to basic necessities like food. This insecurity exists within communities which are poor and rich alike. This issue does not discriminate and is even apparent within the Newark community, particularly at Rutgers-Newark. There are many organizations on campus helping with this issue. Here is a roster of them:

Located in the Paul Robeson Campus Center, this pantry gives all Rutgers faculty and students access to free food, which includes various kinds of dairy, grains, and more. They were established on campus to bring change to the food insecurity crisis and are a part of the greater MEND program, which is a hunger relief network. They also provide emergency packages as required. They are open to volunteers!

This initiative at Rutgers is an easy option for all students. In order to use the online ordering system, one would simply look up Rutgers-Newark PantryRUN, which will lead to a link to order online. Overall, through accessibility, this initiative efficiently and directly aids students suffering from food insecurity.

NJPIRG students:
Another on campus student organization which deals with the hunger insecurity crisis is NJPIRG. This organization is not centralized on hunger insecurity, rather, they host a campaign that surveys students. This is being done in order to create a homelessness and hunger awareness week, dedicated to the issue at large. They have made contributions to decrease food insecurity in Newark by having many food drives, contributing to pantryRUN, and welcoming volunteers.

NJPIRG is a prominent student organization participating in many activist movements. This campaign to raise awareness about homelessness and hunger can make a difference by their continual efforts with engaging students at Rutgers-Newark

JBJ Soul Kitchen:
JBJ Soul Kitchen is a community restaurant. They serve high quality foods that cater to the special diet requirements of many students. The meals are served in Stonesby Common and can be bought using meal swipes or flex dollars. This restaurant is also open to volunteers. For students living on campus, this restaurant provides high quality foods that students can enjoy.

While food insecurity issues focus on those who do not even have access to food, the quality and enjoyment of it is also an important factor!

SORAH stands for Student Organized Rutgers Against Hunger, and is a nonprofit organization. This organization aims to deal with food insecurity in the general Newark area. They are somewhat of an extension of the pantry, as they plan to extensively volunteer to help the pantry and have similar goals. They have been hosting many charitable events this semester. They also want to find a way to commemorate a week tackling the issue of food insecurity. This organization has existed on campus prior, but they have a new Executive Board which aims to recenter their mission.

These are a few organizations on campus that stand against food insecurity. All organizations focus on a different aspect of food insecurity, but to different degrees. The pantry makes food easy and accessible, while other organizations sustain a focal point on activism. This issue impacts our community and campus substantially. These services comprise of students who not only seek to bring awareness to the matter, but to actively bring change against it as well.