Student Org assists in the fight against hunger

By Cody Louie | Published by Jan. 29, 2018

Rahil Ninche, assistant coordinator of the programming board. Photos by Cody Louie

Rahil Ninche, assistant coordinator of the programming board. Photos by Cody Louie

Students, faculty, alumni and even President Dawood Farahi gathered in the Cougar’s Den on Nov. 13 in support of the fight against hunger.

A yearly collaboration between the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) and Kean’s Student Organization brings the “FoodBank Luncheon” back for another run.

As a part of Student Organization’s Traditions, Community and Life Skills Committee, Rahil Ninche, assistant coordinator of the programming board set up the community outreach event.

Ninche spoke about the importance of community involvement in not just helping with the cause but spreading awareness as well.

Tickets were purchased for $5 for students and $10 for faculty and alumni. All proceeds of the event went to CFBNJ.

The event had a buffet donated by Gourmet Dining, raffled prizes, live music and a Thanksgiving-themed photo area.

Michelle Jansen, director of School and Community Outreach at CFBNJ gave a presentation on the organization’s roots, its progression and what they do to help against hunger in New Jersey.

“The Community FoodBank is truly a community-driven organization and most of our distribution comes from individual donations from organizations, student associations, universities, definitely Kean,” said Jansen.

Michelle Jansen giving her presentation. Photos by Cody Louie

Michelle Jansen giving her presentation. Photos by Cody Louie

In an uphill battle where the problem is ever expanding, Jansen said that even as they continue to become more efficient and better at what they do they still run into obstacles.

“The problem is the need is growing much faster than we can get food in and distribute it,” said Jansen. “Those are areas where there are lots of room for advocacy, especially with some of the changes that may be coming up with food stamps and different social service benefits.”

Jansen said those areas are important because they are the tools in place to prevent people from falling into poverty. However, she noted that even those programs can struggle to keep their clients afloat for the entirety of the month.

“Every dollar that we receive actually translates into $10 because we buy in bulk,” said Jansen. “A $1 donation actually equals three meals that goes back out into the community.”

With this same purchasing power, she said that a $25 donation can become a Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings for a family of four.

Jansen stresses the importance of their volunteers’ critical role in their distribution and advocacy. Without the help of them, “CFBNJ wouldn’t be where it is today,” said Jansen.

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