December 20, 2010

Kudos to the Kosher Companies that are Feeding the Poor

The Dagim Company, manufacturers of many fish products, recently contributed a significant amount of product to Masbia, a network of kosher soup kitchens founded by Alexander Rappaport and supported by the Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty. Just before Passover, KJ Poultry delivered truckloads of kosher poultry products to various Jewish neighborhoods with large numbers of poor. Sources tell me that many kosher food manufacturers routinely donate products to Masbia, Met Council and other food pantries that help needy Jews with kosher products. They also say that they could use many other products that they are forced to purchase and which puts a strain on their limited budget.

The re-emergence of the soup kitchen is an ominous sign that Jewish poverty has not been relegated to the past. In fact, Met Council says that well over 150,000 Jews live below the federal definition of poverty. While the soup kitchens of another era, in the ‘30’s and ‘50’s, served mainly elderly Jews, today the clients are young families, many victimized by the relentless recession. Some of the “clients” of Masbia are people who at one time were amongst the Middle Class, but as a result of an illness, death, or job loss suddenly find themselves in need of a hot meal in one of the Masbia soup kitchens throughout the city. For those companies that have stepped up to the plate thank you and for those waiting on the on-deck circle the community will no doubt thank you as well.