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Rutgers Healthy Tailgate Initiative Kicks Off

September 19, 2011
Somerset Medical Center and ShopRite have announced the launch of a new interactive, health and wellness program for the 2011 Rutgers Football season. Designed to educate fans on healthy food options for tailgate activities at games, the “Rutgers Healthy Tailgate” will be a permanent feature outside High Point Solutions Stadium for all home games in the 2011 season. ShopRite and Somerset Medical Center have partnered to raise awareness among Rutgers sports fans for healthy eating habits and nutrition. 

The two entities, both Corporate Partners of Rutgers Athletics, will use their position on Scarlet Knight Way to hand out samples of healthy items that will be cooked on-site. Recipe cards featuring each healthy dish sampled at the “Tailgate” will also be available for distribution. Somerset Medical Center will also have nutritional experts on-site to answer questions about healthy eating habits and featured recipes. A new healthy entrée will be sampled at each home Rutgers football game. 

"Rutgers Athletics is very pleased with the launching of the Healthy Tailgate program for the 2011 Football Season," said Tim Pernetti, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Rutgers University. “We are thrilled that we were able to bring together two Rutgers Corporate Partners who both had health and wellness awareness as major organizational priorities. The Healthy Tailgate will be a tremendous avenue for our fans to engage with two of our prominent sponsors, receive helpful information, and sample a tasty food dish during the pre-game activities outside High Point Solutions Stadium.”

“The healthy tailgate program is the next logical step of our Rutgers Partnership. As we enter the second year of our relationship with RU Athletics, we were looking for a creative avenue to engage the fans in topics and issues that were important to Somerset Medical Center. ,” said Ken Bateman, president and chief executive officer of Somerset Medical Center. “We are proud to have found a partner in ShopRite that has similar goals.”

“Whether it’s our ShopRite LiveRight program or the complementary services of our in-store retail dietitians, we at ShopRite have long been committed to the health and wellness of our customers, neighbors and associates,” said Joe Sheridan, Executive Vice President of Wakefern Food Corp., the marketing and distribution arm for ShopRite stores “We are excited to work with Rutgers and Somerset Medical Center to continue to raise this awareness of the benefits of eating right and living a healthy lifestyle.”

A nationally accredited, 355-bed regional medical center located in Somerville, Somerset Medical Center provides a variety of comprehensive emergency, medical/surgical and rehabilitative services to Central New Jersey residents. Its specialty services include comprehensive cancer care at its Steeplechase Cancer Center, a Joint Surgery Institute ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation by HealthGrades, robotic surgery, a Primary Stroke Center, sleep medicine, cardiology, emergency care and sports medicine. For more information about Somerset Medical Center, visit

Rutgers University, based in New Brunswick NJ is the state university of New Jersey. With an enrollment of more than 54,000 students, and an alumni body in excess of 390,000, Rutgers is the largest university in the NY DMA, and the largest Division I collegiate sports program in the largest market in the country. It is physically situated in the central NJ, 35 miles south of New York City, and 50 miles north of Philadelphia.

ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative, based in Keasbey, NJ and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States. With more than 230 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than five million customers each week. A long-time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves. Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite has donated more than $27 million to 1,700 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999. As a title sponsor of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic, ShopRite has raised more than $23 million for local schools, hospitals and community groups. For more information, please visit