Orthodox Union Initiates Pivotal Partnership to Enhance Access to Kosher Chicken in New York

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07 Dec 2023

Collaborative Effort with Gemiluth Chessed of Greater New York, City Harvest, and Empire Chicken Ensures Vital Nutrition for the Community

The Orthodox Union, in collaboration with Gemiluth Chessed, City Harvest, and Empire Chicken, has launched an important initiative to provide kosher chicken to New Yorkers facing difficulties in affording kosher dietary options. This initiative is set to distribute 12,000 pounds of Empire chicken at a subsidized cost, thanks to the generous contributions from Gemiluth Chessed and the logistical support of City Harvest, New York’s first and largest food rescue organization. The program will reach numerous kosher food pantries across the city’s five boroughs, significantly broadening the food choices for those observing kosher dietary laws.

The cost of kosher meat often limits dietary options for the Jewish community to less varied alternatives. This partnership aims to address this gap, offering a more diverse range of food to those who maintain a kosher diet.

“Through our collective efforts with Gemiluth Chessed, City Harvest, and Empire Chicken, we’re forging a path to support a community in need,” stated Rabbi Simon Taylor, National Director at OU’s Community Projects and Partnerships. “This initiative is a testament to what can be achieved with shared goals and concerted effort.”

In addition to providing food, Gemiluth Chessed is investing in research to identify the areas of greatest need, ensuring targeted assistance. “Tackling food insecurity, especially among older adults and those with specific dietary observances, is crucial,” Peter Kahn, President of Gemiluth Chessed, noted. “We’re proud to be part of a coalition that’s not just supplying food but also understanding and addressing the root of the need.”

Empire Chicken has committed to providing chicken at significantly reduced costs, with City Harvest orchestrating the distribution. Max Hoffman, Associate Director of Supply Chain, Procurement, and Logistics at City Harvest, added, “We are so grateful to Orthodox Union, Gemiluth Chessed, and Empire Chicken for their partnership. Right now, the need for food in New York City is nearly as high as it was at any point during the pandemic. Together, we are committed to ensuring our kosher-observant neighbors have access to the nutritious foods they need to thrive.”

“This initiative is hopefully the beginning of a significant change,” Kahn remarked. “With the support of the Orthodox Union, City Harvest, and Empire Chicken, we aim to create sustainable impact on food security in our community.”