In Time For Passover, Met Council and the Orthodox Union Partner To Fight Hunger In The Jewish Community

08 Apr 2016

In New York City there are 80,000 Kosher Household that Are Food Insecure

Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) and the Orthodox Union (OU) joined together this year, to ensure that the poor and near-poor kosher homes are empowered to celebrate Passover with joy and dignity. Met Council’s Kosher Food Network will provide kosher for Passover food to over 240,000 hungry New Yorkers at 120 citywide sites. OU staff members will pitch in as volunteers to assist with distribution.

The high cost of kosher food presents a unique challenge for many New Yorkers: on average, a kosher meal is 15% more expensive. To enable poor and near-poor New Yorkers to celebrate the upcoming holiday, Met Council distributes an increased amount of food.

“We understand the unique challenge of affording kosher food,” said Met Council CEO Alan Schoor. We are grateful to the OU and their volunteers who are joining our Kosher Food Network in the mitzvah of feeding the hungry. In New York City, with more than half a million poor and near-poor Jewish New Yorkers, it is not only our mission, but our obligation to ensure that the most vulnerable New Yorkers have access to kosher and nutritious food year-round and especially during the holidays. Thanks to our partners in government, private donors and local Jewish Community Councils we are able to work towards meeting this need.”

“Passover is a time when Jews around the world participate in the mitzvah of maot chitim – providing funds for Passover to those in need,” noted Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President of the OU. “This partnership with Met Council provides our organization and our staff members the opportunity to give back to our communities by lending our help to those who need it most. We’re privileged to be a part of it.”

To empower poor and near-poor Jewish New Yorkers to celebrate Passover, volunteers will assist local pantries by stocking pantry shelves and organizing food. To ensure that families in need are assisted year-round, volunteers will screen clients for all available government benefits, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) and Met Council’s free handyman services for low income seniors, Project Metropair. Volunteers will assist in all five boroughs.

Passover begins at sunset on Friday, April 22. If you or someone you know needs food or other assistance during this holiday, please call 212-453-9539.