As part of the second round of COVID relief funds, the state of New Jersey awarded $1 million dollars to New Jersey colleges and universities to fight hunger as part of a “Hunger Free Campus” initiative.

According to MyCentralJersey.com, all the institutions of higher learning in the state were invited to compete for the grants, which ranged from $40,000 to $100,000; the awards were based on the schools’ efforts to fight hunger on campus.

N.J. schools receiving $100,000 grants

• Montclair State
• Rutgers-Newark
• Camden Community College
• Middlesex Community College.

N.J. schools receiving grants averaging $99,000

• Rutgers-New Brunswick
• The College of New Jersey
• Mercer Community College.

The rest of the $1 million was split among Stockton, Kean, and Ocean County Community College.

According to Montclair State’s website, “Associate Dean of Students Fatima deCarvalho said that funds from this grant will be used to conduct more research on how many students face food insecurity, and offer assistance to students navigating SNAP benefits, managing their finances and even building grocery lists.

“We’ve found that college students have a higher rate of food insecurity than the general population, and often have less support,” deCarvalho said. “We want to minimize the stigma and we want students to know that whatever resources we have, like the pantry, we are proud of them.”

The story on MyCentralJersey points out that “A 2018 report to the Government Accountability Office found that almost 2 million at-risk college students who were potentially eligible for federal food aid, including SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) benefits, did not receive any. Providing students with better information would help them access food, the study found.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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