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Passover Food Support Helps Make a Happy Holiday rss

Posted on: March 26th, 2012

This Passover, Annette Bahr, a Queens single mother of three children ranging from ages 8 to 18, will be able to provide the holiday foods her daughters love thanks to the Queens Jewish Community Council. QJCC gave Bahr a voucher to purchase the Passover food she needs.

QJCC, a beneficiary agency of UJA-Federation of New York, distributed 246 vouchers this spring to clients who need the most help in buying Passover food. But these vouchers represent only one part of QJCC’s Passover effort.

“We distributed 3,000 food packages last year and expect to give as much this year,” says Cynthia Zalisky, QJCC executive director. “Passover is an expensive holiday for any of us, especially if you want to observe in a traditional way and use only kosher for Passover products. For those who have limited funds, it’s a struggle.”

The Passover food packages include five pounds of matzah, grape juice, jam, tuna, oil, matzah ball soup mix, mayonnaise, and apricot preserves, notes Zalisky.

Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, also a beneficiary agency, supplies the Passover food to pantries and Jewish community councils across the city for distribution. This year, Met Council expects to provide 50,000 families in New York City with more than two million pounds of kosher for Passover food items and to offer $500,000 worth of food vouchers to more than 3,000 people.

“We are seeing an astounding number of clients who are faced with the daily painful choice of deciding between necessities. Do they provide nutritious meals for their family, pay the rent, or purchase medicine?” says William E. Rapfogel, Met Council CEO. “Met Council believes that no one should have to make these types of impossible decisions. The enormous amount of food that we are able to distribute through our network of Jewish community councils across the city will make a significant difference in the lives of New Yorkers this Passover season.”

For Bahr, who is employed as an administrative assistant to a surgeon, it’s not only the practical support QJCC offers that is significant for her. “It makes me feel good that they care,” she says.