The Rutgers University Foundation raised more than $54,000 from a total of 794 donors yesterday through its annual Giving Tuesday event to help combat food insecurity for Rutgers students across all campuses.
Renee Mathys, associate director of public relations and social media for the Foundation, said Giving Tuesday takes place worldwide each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to bring people together in support of important causes.
This year, the Foundation raised funds to support four student food pantries across all three campuses and Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences (RBHS), which will help students who are experiencing food insecurity receive access to meals, she said.
“More than half of all college students struggle with food insecurity,” Mathys said. “We hope to change that at Rutgers by increasing support for the student food pantries at Rutgers—New Brunswick, Rutgers—Newark, Rutgers—Camden and (RBHS).”
She said that by raising funds for the food pantries, the Foundation can help make sure that no Rutgers student feels uncertain about where their next meal is coming from.
In addition, Mathys said the food pantries will also provide students with additional resources other than access to healthy meals, such as access to various support services and toiletries.
“Partnering with Rutgers University Foundation for Giving Tuesday gives us the opportunity to bring attention to an issue that hits home for many Rutgers students," said Kerri Willson, associate dean of students at Rutgers—New Brunswick. "Food insecurity affects some of our students and we are called to do whatever we can to support them.”
The four food pantries that were supported this Giving Tuesday include the Rutgers Student Food Pantry at Rutgers—New Brunswick, the pantryRUN at Rutgers—Newark, the Raptor Pantry at Rutgers—Camden and the RBHS Student Food Pantry, which is being supported through the Hunger and Health Security Fund, according to the event’s website.
By the end of the event, the Rutgers Student Food Pantry had 355 donors and received more than $26,000, pantryRUN had 200 donors and received nearly $10,000, the Raptor Pantry had 154 donors and received nearly $11,000 and the RBHS Student Food Pantry had 85 donors and received more than $7,000.
In previous years, the Foundation was able to raise more than $66,000 to combat student food insecurity, Mathys said. Even though the event is over, interested individuals are still able to make donations online or in person at one of the food pantries.
Joshua Harraman, vice president for alumni engagement, annual giving and advancement communications for the Foundation, said that University donors have always been involved with Giving Tuesday and helping students in need.
“Rutgers donors always have cared deeply about our students’ well-being and success, and this is the sort of effort that has a big impact, no matter the size of the gift,” he said. “Our hope is that on this Giving Tuesday, together we can help students make the most of their promise by providing them with food and other support services they sometimes need.”