The Mitzvah Food Pantry at Beth Sholom Congregation provides bags of food to families in need as part of Beth Sholom’s continued efforts to reach out to the community and to those in need.
The Pantry is part of CADCOM of Montgomery County and the Pantry’s food sources are Share, Philadelphia Food Bank, Trader Joe's, and two Giant markets. Funding is from CADCOM, Jewish Federation and private donations. Congregants and community members are welcome to join in this mitzvah with donations to the Mitzvah Food Pantry of either food or monetary donations. Kosher/ pareve items that are needed include: peanut butter, pasta sauce, tuna, canned fruit/vegetables. BSC Mitzvah Food Pantry has added Project Home in Philadelphia to its list of recipients of fresh produce from the Mitzvah Garden. Beginning in the summer of 2012, fresh produce is available to the residents of one of Project Home's residences.Volunteers are also needed to pack and sort food as well as to make deliveries. To get involved please contact the office: 215-887-1342.
Our pantry provides non-perishable food to those in need and is open to all. Hours: Wednesday 1 PM to 3 PM, or by appointment. You can also contact the office or one of the Rabbis if you know someone who needs a private appointment. Donations of nutritious, kosher, non-perishable food are always welcome. To volunteer email Beverly McFadden or Stuart Warsetsky, Pantry Coordinators.
Congregant Ellyn Lehr, the Pantry's former Manager, recently shared the following information with us:
We serve 100 to 130 families each Wednesday. Each bag usually contains tuna, pasta and/or rice, tomato sauce, fruit, vegetables, soup, cereal, peanut butter, jelly and other things that vary each week depending on our supplies. Trader Joe's gives us lots of almost expired bread and assorted other foods close to expiration or in slightly scuffed containers. If we did not have the Pantry here a lot of their food would tragically go to waste. We have 10 volunteers from the synagogue that work very hard to make sure our bags are ready when the clients arrive at 1:00. It is a physically demanding job, packing the bags, and helping the more frail clients to their cars with their food. A lot of our clients have been coming for 3 years or more, and we get about 5 - 10 new families each month.
Here is the punchline to Ellyn's description: We are always looking for more help.
In a separate operation, twice a month, on the first and fourth Thursdays, a dedicated group of volunteer drivers deliver the bags that contain non-perishable food items such as vegetables, tuna, gefilte fish fruit and grape juice. The bags also contain supermarket gift cards and candles. Volunteers at Beth Sholom pack the bags prior to each delivery. For further information, call the synagogue office to contact Robin Katz.
Note: CADCOM is Community Action Development Commission for Montgomery County