New Brunswick ranks 11th in most miserable cities list
New Brunswick was recorded as the 11th of 50 most miserable cities in America, according to an article on Business Insider. New Brunswick was 1 of the 9 New Jersey cities that made the list.
Business Insider based its rankings on census data for cities across America, and of New Brunswick’s 56,000 residents, 54% of people are working and 35% of people are living in poverty. These factors placed it high on this list, according to the article.
Black, mixed-race and Hispanic groups are the most unemployed people in New Brunswick, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Yet, the cost of living in New Brunswick is approximately 16% higher than the national average, according to financial sites PayScale.
New Brunswick’s assaults with guns have risen approximately 64% since 2017 as national gun violence has increased, according to Business Insider.
The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) serves the areas of New Brunswick and Piscataway and in a 2016-2018 crime report, it was stated that there have been two arrests for weapons on campus property such as residence halls, non-campus property and public property. There has been a decrease in weapon arrests in New Brunswick, though.
The other highest causes of reported arrests are due to alcohol and drug possession, according to the report.
Food insecurity is a major issue for New Brunswick residents as well.
Lauren Errickson, a coordinator for the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market, is trying to help food insecurity in the area. The New Brunswick Community Farmers Market is a project of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, where Rutgers University reaches out to assist New Brunswick residents in need, she said.
“Our goal as a farmers market is to increase fresh fruit and vegetable access in the city of New Brunswick. So, we’re working as one of the solutions to the very complex food insecurity picture,” Errickson said.
The farmers market works with local farmers from Central New Jersey to bring fresh food to New Brunswick, to reduce the financial cost food may have so that low-income residents can eat nutritiously and to be accessible because residents do not always have access to transportation, she said.
The market began with one location in 2009, and now has three different locations on four days at peak season, she said. The website gives updates to provide information on locations and the farmers present at the markets.
“We work closely with Elijah’s Promise and the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance, they have an agricultural workgroup. So, members of Elijah’s Promise Garden Initiative work closely with me through that project," Errickson said. "We also work through a program in Elijah’s Promise called the Ryan White Program and the Best and Fresh initiative. So we are able to provide those involved in those programs with vouchers for free fruit and vegetables at the market.”
Other programs include partnering with the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Elijah’s Promise Medical Program to give free prescriptions to those living in the city who do not have the medical insurance to cover the costs. There are also paper prescriptions that carry over to the farmers market and allow patients to get free fruits and vegetables.
Errickson said that these programs are important because while pharmaceuticals are necessary, proper nutrition such as fruits and vegetables are a part of health and wellness.
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