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How to help bring food to the needy this Passover

Kosher food pantries have spent months preparing for Passover, a pricey holiday during which many Jewish New Yorkers need some extra help putting food on the table. But with coronavirus taking a toll on family finances, those pantries are seeing a rapid increase in demand for their services. The Forward wrote about the challenges food pantries are facing right now and their struggle to secure enough funding to continue operating. In order to meet client demand through the holiday and beyond, many pantries are in need of donations now. If you’re looking for ways to help, here are some organizations currently accepting donations for services related to Passover and coronavirus.

The Met Council on Jewish Poverty

Helping Hand: Volunteers from Masbia Soup Kitchens/Met-Council and Chaverim prepare emergency food for seniors affected by Sandy at the Park Slope Armory in Brooklyn.

The Met Council acts as a food wholesaler, buying food in large quantities and delivering it to the forty pantries in its Kosher Food Network, which is the largest system of kosher pantries in the country. You can donate to the Met Council’s COVID-19 emergency fund to make a difference now.

City Harvest

Image by Facebook/City Harvest

Since 1982, City Harvest has been rerouting surplus food to soup kitchens and food pantries — including, but not limited to, Jewish organizations. Their Mobile Markets deliver fresh produce to low-income neighborhoods that don’t have access to farmer’s markets. City Harvest partners with the Met Council to ensure a stable flow of supplies to kosher pantries across the city. Donations to City Harvest will be matched by a corporate donor until June 30.

Masbia

The Masbia soup kitchen.

The Masbia soup kitchen. Image by Facebook/Masbia

Masbia serves over 2 million meals per year to food insecure Brooklyn residents of all ages and religions. While its dining room is currently closed, the organization is still providing grocery packages and prepared meals to take home. You can donate to Masbia’s general operations or to a fund dedicated to creating food boxes for quarantined people.

Sephardic Bikur Holim

SBH food pantry distributes food across New York City.

SBH food pantry distributes food across New York City. Image by iStock

The food division of this charitable organization provides groceries to hundreds of families each week, as well as assembling Passover boxes, delivering food to the homebound, and organizing food drives. You can donate to SBH’s COVID-19 emergency fund or directly to its food pantry.

Your local synagogue or Chabad house

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 3: The Star of David stands atop the Park East Synagogue, March 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Image by Getty Images

Many local institutions are providing meals or financial assistance to those who are struggling this Passover. Check to see what leaders in your neighborhood need!

Irene Katz Connelly is an editorial fellow at the Forward. You can contact her at connelly@forward.com.

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