Kosher Food Pantry Delivers Food & Smiles to Older Adults

July 16, 2020

Kosher Food Pantry Delivers Food & Smiles to Older Adults

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the JF&CS Kosher Food Pantry has been busier than ever supporting the Atlanta community. Calls come into the agency daily as the need increases, and shelves that are full of food on Monday can look sparse by Friday.

These numbers illuminate the story: Last year, over a 12- month period, 1,931 people were helped by the Kosher Food Pantry, and 17,500 pounds of food was distributed. This year between March 13 – July 3, 2020, 2,882 people were served, and 66,469 lbs. of food were distributed. That’s the equivalent of three years’ worth of food distributed in 4 months!

And it’s not just canned goods — the pantry now offers fresh chicken, fruits and vegetables, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene products. JF&CS, in partnership with AgeWell Atlanta, has been providing free fresh fruits and vegetables monthly to the Jewish Tower. Residents love having fresh produce delivered to them to enjoy in their homes. In addition, JF&CS delivers to house-bound older adults, and multiple organizations, including the Global Village Project. JF&CS also offers Emergency Financial Assistance to help clients with rent, a gas bill, or other needs, as more people find themselves unemployed.

“Many Jewish clients said they never thought they would be in the position of having to request food from a pantry. I have heard from multiple people that they had called other organizations and did not get assistance – we were only ones who called back,” said a JF&CS staff member.

Thanks to a partnership with The Epstein School cafeteria, JF&CS is able to deliver free prepared meals to Holocaust Survivors and low-income house-bound older adults, many of whom worried and wondered where they would find their next meal. Anat Granath, JF&CS Social Worker with the Holocaust Survivor Program, says that although they were reluctant to use the Kosher Food Pantry service at first, many have found the program to be extremely helpful.

“Many Holocaust Survivors used to have caregivers, but because of safety, are asking their caregivers not to come. So, there’s really nobody to shop for them, and many of them don’t have children or family members that live close by that they can rely on food delivery on a regular basis.” Granath also emphasizes the importance of food security to Holocaust Survivors. “I think sometimes, even just knowing that somebody tells you ‘you won’t go hungry again’, we can’t underestimate what that means to a client who has felt hunger for many, many years. And many of them are benefiting from the Kosher Food Pantry, which is wonderful,” she said.

Many of Granath’s clients have expressed their appreciation and gratitude for both the food that JF&CS has provided to them, and for the feeling that someone in the world is thinking of them and taking care of them. As the pandemic continues, the need continues to grow for food and supplies. Thankfully, our community has stepped up to help.

In addition to support from Federation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, hundreds of community members donated food, and partner organizations continue to help meet the demand. If you would like to help JF&CS Atlanta’s Kosher Food Pantry provide food to those in need, please reach out here. “Our goal is to support the bold work of these grant recipients in an exponential manner because we must invest in these visionary change makers like never before.”

If you need help with food or emergency financial assistance, please visit