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Quarter 1

Page history last edited by Dimitrios Dogas 11 years, 9 months ago

Section 1: Demographics

Bonner Program in black 

Heesun and Dimitrios in blue

Beth in Purple


Please place text next to or below each bullet point.


  • Number of individuals who have applied to your AmeriCorps positions:     12, 0, 0

  • Number of volunteers who are recruited, coordinated or supported by your program:      0, 8, 0

  • Number of disadvantaged youth serving as volunteers:     0, 0, 0

  • Number of individuals enrolled in a degree-seeking program at a community, professional or technical college, 

    or within a undergraduate or graduate program at a college or university who serve as volunteers: 0, 0, 0
  • Number of individuals born between 1946 and 1964 who serve as volunteers:  0, 6, 0


Section 2: Performance Measures


Please place text next to or below each bullet point.


  • Number of volunteers recruited:     0, 8, 0


Section 3: Strategic Initiatives


Below are the CNCS Strategic Initiatives, please give at least one example of activity that 

addresses at least one strategic initiative that your program has addressed. This may or 

may not be related to a performance measure. Describe the activity, including need that was 

addressed; local collaborations or partners; service activity; and results.


Link to examples of projects related to strategic initiatives


A program that will come out of the Learning to End Hunger Initiative called "Carrots, Cans, Coats and Coins" is a drive that asks the public to donate fresh produce, canned and shelf-stable food, coats and money for specified end user organizations. This model addresses a growing need for agencies to collaborate and use one drive to reach a public that can often be asked too many times a year to contribute and can cross market the event to different constituencies. This program is being tested at a community farmers market with a group of volunteers and will be used as a template by colleges so that they can use the logo, adapt the press release and reach out to community organizations using these donations.


The Learning to End Hunger Initiative is the overarching component in which the Food Stamp Outreach Program is being constructed.  The model being used by the Learning to End Hunger Initiative is based primarily upon the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger's food stamp outreach model which is currently operating successfully in Pennsylvania.  There has been an increase in food stamp enrollment in Philadelphia, due to increased food stamp outreach efforts. 


This model for New Jersey acknowledges the progress made in Philadelphia and addresses the need for more extensive and sustainable outreach.  "According to [statistics from mid-2008,] the Food Research Action Center (FRAC), [determined that] only 58% of NJ residents who are eligible to receive food stamps [actually] participate in the program".  To combat these weak numbers, volunteers serving as part of this outreach program in New Jersey will be assisting those potentially eligible with on-site pre-screenings, applications, and will perform comprehensive follow-up advocacy, which is integral in increasing enrollment. 


This follow-up component entails phone calls which will aim at assisting clients with the organization and gathering of needed documents, and by encouraging those determined eligible to enroll into the food stamp program through attending mandatory interviews and completing their applications in timely fashions (within 30 days).  With the assistance from the Food Stamp Outreach and Corrective Action branch of the New Jersey Division of Family Development, the Philadelphia outreach model and it's guidelines are currently being adapted to fit into the State of New Jersey. 


 A pilot will begin in Middlesex County, NJ first during the Fall of 2009, and by the Spring of 2010 the model will be active within five counties around the State.


Our students from the Rutgers Bonner Leader Program have been placed at five different nonprofit organizations throughout the city of New Brunswick. Despite the fact that they have been placed at different locations, most are working on the same initiative of Hunger Relief. Five of our students have been placed with Elijah's Promise and have been classified as general volunteers who are responsible for serving food to hungry people traveling to the soup kitchen from communities in and neighboring New Brunswick. This is a much needed service to communities throughout the nation considering the number of families who are struggling with the ills of poverty in this economic downturn.  


Mobilizing more volunteers


Once it is proven that this program of multiple drives happening simultaneously works, the design for promoting this to all universities will encourage student groups to hold these "CCCC" drives. The consistency of the logo will help to make this recognizable if done at enough schools. 


This Food Stamp Outreach Program is meant to draw upon student volunteers from higher education institutions, so it is inevitable that more volunteers will be mobilized as time progresses.  Some schools already have service-learning courses attached to the volunteerism, further tying the students into the projects, ensuring accountability and sustainability.  Some other schools in the process of creating service-learning courses, have student groups/ clubs that perform service to the community, and these too can be drawn upon.


The success of the Rutgers Bonner Leader Program this year will contribute to the recruitment of more students for the future. Those that are involved this year who successfully complete their 300 hours will naturally speak well of the program to their friends. In addition, we intend on tapping into existing student networks like the Latino Student Council and groups like Students Organizing Culturally Innovative Opportunities (SOCIO), a male mentorship group at Rutgers designed to counter the rise in minority male attrition rate at Rutgers.


Ensuring a Brighter Future for America's youth





Engaging students in communities 

Our Day of Service (Sept. 11, 2008) engages BCC students in the Burlington County community regardless of enrollment with our program.   It gave us an opportunity to work together with faculty and departments at BCC to mobilize students in giving back to communities served by our programs partner sites.


This multi-pronged drive will require that students reach out to community partners who can use these products and resources (soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries and other social service agencies working with communities in need). There could eventually be a statewide website were schools could upload their donation numbers and gauge its impact.


Students participating as volunteers in the Food Stamp Outreach Program will be working directly with people within their own communities who may be in need of assistance.  Volunteers will experience one-on-one relationships, as they guide those potentially eligible through the pre-screening process at local health centers, employment centers, and other various locations.  They will maintain this relationship through the follow-up advocacy, and encourage those people verbally over the phone to complete the application and enrollment process.  Volunteers will benefit from direct service to the community, and community members can feel confident that they are receiving more personalized care.


All of the students in the Rutgers Bonner Leader Program will be engaged in progressive service this year. Their service areas include tutoring Latino youth from the New Brunswick community, service in the areas of educating and outreaching to the African American community about Cardi Vascular Disease. Some of the students will also serve people in the community who suffer with AIDS by educating them about what they should eat to counter the side effects brought on by the medication they are forced to take to battle the virus. All of the Bonner leaders will be engaged in life altering service opportunities.  


Harnessing Baby Boomers’ experience


By testing the program (at a community farmers market with a volunteer organization of adults, the knowledge they bring to the table is profound. The "Carrots, Cans, Coats and Coins" idea stemmed from a conversation with one of their members who is definitely in the boomer age group




Section 4: Great Stories


Highlight member activities which are especially reflective of the impact the program has in 

the community, or which illustrate an innovative or highly successful aspect of program 



Link to examples of Great Stories 


I recently met with the Volunteer Coordinator at the Buttonwood Nursing Home.  She told me this great story:  Beth (one of our student members) has been doing a wonderful job with the computer class.  She has the residents setting up their own emails and really getting into technology.  We've placed two more people into the class, because everyone is talking about it now and we're hoping to expand the program!


Many of the potential community partners listed in the Consortium list are just now being introduced to the idea of using college students for work they need done at all levels.


The "Carrots, Cans, Coats and Coins" drive will allow students to "package" a drive and see how important the marketing of this effort is. A consistent logo used in all universities participating in this effort will show collaboration between colleges. Students will gain experience in both implementing and marketing a campaign like this.


Personalized outreach like that contained in the Learning to End Hunger's Food Stamp Outreach Program will ensure that student volunteers gain valuable memories in direct service to their communities.  Students will be able to make visual connections with those who are in need, and the experience will be more humanizing for the volunteers.  Those in need of help, on the other end of the spectrum, will be able to benefit from a more personal process regarding food stamp application and with that thought in mind, be more encouraged to enroll into the program if determined to be eligible.


During our Bonner Leader Retreat at Camp Bernie, many of the Bonners found themselves outside of their comfort zones because for most it was their first time camping and being isolated from the urban landscape. At night, many of them complained and started thinking twice about their decisions to join the Rutgers Bonner Leader Program. The next morning, I spoke to them about the importance of overcoming a fear and how such an experience can help develop people into leaders. At 9 am when I made that speech, they did not get it but by the end of the day when we completed some team building activities and when we asked them to reflect on the weekend, they did. 




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