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Receive self-fulfillment through serving community

Through this esteemed newspaper, The Daily Targum, we are honored to express our concerns about the increasing number of people affected by hunger and homelessness. We are the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) Student Chapters, the on-campus nonprofit organization. We have partnered with Feeding America to provide emergency food assistance throughout the country.

One out of three households is experiencing very low food security and that is a staggering 54 percent increase in the last four years. While one of our team members was working in a soup kitchen last year, the member came across Marci, an immigrant from Mexico. Her husband, a cancer patient, died three years earlier. She has to support a family of three. She was a housewife, but after her husband's death, she managed to get a job as a waitress in a local restaurant. When asked about her future plans, she gave a wry laugh and replied, "I spent sleepless nights thinking and then one fine day, I was like, and you know what? If I worry too much, my children will be affected." Millions of people across the nation like Marci are hopeful and have not given up because of organizations like Feeding America.

Feeding America's numerous food banks throughout the country helped 5.7 million people in 2009 each week. NJPIRG Student Chapters have undertaken the Hunger Cleanup project in order to raise funds to help such organizations fight hunger. By donating and volunteering at food pantries and soup kitchens, University students can help make a difference. So how much does it really take to not go shopping one week or not spend on parties? Not much. Besides, why spend unnecessarily when you can get the added benefit of self-fulfillment through serving the community?

Ishika Biswas is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.

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