Helping less fortunate during Passover

April 6, 2009 3:26:50 PM PDT
As Jews in our area sit down to celebrate Passover Wednesday evening, many will begin by reciting words from the Haggadah, all who are hungry let them come and eat. "You cannot begin to celebrate Passover until you make sure your neighbor had something to eat and that's what we're trying to do," said Rabbi Mayer Mayfield with City Harvest.

Trying to make sure people in this community can keep with Jewish practice and fill their homes with kosher items for the holiday.

It's their mission at one food pantry in Brooklyn.

"They are trying to reach out to every single neighbor to all people so they don't have to go hungry," said Mozelle Sammell.

And so City Harvest is dropping off truck loads of vegetables, produce, items that typically cost more than non-kosher foods.

Schools, synagogues and other organizations are donating everything.

City Harvest works with about 475 soup kitchens and pantries in the city, 36 are strictly kosher.

Raphael Hazin says he's seeing a 30 percent increase in clients this Passover and an overall jump in families in need, particularly the middle class.

"Last Novermeber 2007, we had enrollment of 800 famlies. This year it's up to 1,800," he said.

There's another way City Harvest is helping people prepare their homes for Passover.

Families looking to remove leavened products, such as bread or mixtures containing grains like wheat, should contact the agency.

They'll take the items and then distribute them to the more than 600 food programs they serve.

To get food B'nai Raphael Food Pantry
2917 Ave. K
Nostrand Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Drop off locations include
Congregation Mount Sinai
250 Cadman Plaza West
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Food can be dropped of Mon-Fri 9-5 p.m.
Israel Center of Conservative Judaism
167-11 73rd Ave.
Fresh Meadows, NY 11366
Enter through 168th entrance. Bins are set up Mon-Thurs. 9:30-5:30, Wed. 9:30-7:30 and Fri. 9:30-2 p.m.
Surprise Lake Camp-Office 307 7th Avenue, Suite 900 New York, NY 10001
Food can be dropped off Mon-Fri, 9-5 p.m.

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