Purim to Passover Food Drive to Address Hunger

March 15, 2022

Purim to Passover Food Drive to Address Hunger

Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) of Atlanta and Jewish Education Collaborative (JEC), an initiative of Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta (JFGA) has announced a community-wide food drive that will address hunger and help fill the shelves at the JF&CS food pantry.

According to Marsha Hurwitz, VP of Major Gifts at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jan and Marsha Spector are “long-time supporters of the Atlanta Jewish community who work quietly and tirelessly to make our world a better place. They expressed concern about Jewish Atlantans going hungry and decided they want to help!”

“Food security is a basic human right. It saddens us to think there are Jews in Atlanta who are going hungry or have to choose between food or medicine or gas for their cars. At Purim, we learn of the ‘halachic imperative of matanot l'evyonim’ to give gifts to the poor…to make sure no one is hungry. That’s why we are partnering with Federation’s Jewish Education Collaborative and Jewish Family & Career Services to encourage our community members to collect food for the JF&CS Food Pantry,” Jan Spector said.

“Additionally, with Passover just six weeks away, we know more community members will need extra funds to purchase Passover food items. We have created a ‘Feed the Hungry Challenge Match’ – we will match $1 for $1 up to $25,000, **new or increased** contributions made between Purim and Pesach to JF&CS’s Food Pantry fund,” Marsha Spector generously offered.

With prices going up on food, gas and basic essentials, many community members may find themselves in need once again, or for the first time ever. During the Pandemic, JF&CS fed more than 7,000 Jewish community members, with the average age of recipients being over 70 years old. JF&CS delivered food to elderly residents and those who were house-bound. Now, the agency is expecting another influx in requests.

Shelley Miller, Director of Supportive Services at JF&CS, said, “this food drive has come at the perfect time. We expect to see the demand to continue to rise in the coming weeks, and we are running low on many items. We really appreciate the JEC and the Spectors for their help in making this project a reality.”

Food donations can be dropped off at JF&CS (4549 Chamblee Dunwoody Road) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, and at participating food pantry partners. The JEC includes 16 supplemental Jewish education programs, including congregational schools and Jewish Kids Groups.

“The Jewish Education Collaborative, an initiative of Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, is advancing part-time Jewish education in Atlanta by strengthening collaboration among organizations, investing in the talent of Jewish educators, and catalyzing innovative new models. We’re training our educators to think differently and cultivating creativity for bold ideas to take form,” said Rabbi Elana Perry, Director of JEC.

“Jewish tradition teaches that we should not delay if we have the opportunity to do a mitzvah. When we all collaborate across organizations and work together as a community, not only can we perform a mitzvah swiftly, but we can also have a greater impact,” she said.

Although this project is starting with the JEC, JF&CS welcomes all Jewish organizations to collect food for the JF&CS pantry. The Davis Academy is also participating in the food drive, and requests are out to other Jewish schools and organizations.

“Our hope is that together, we will shine a light on the issue of food insecurity in our Atlanta Jewish community and how we can eliminate it!” Marsha Spector said.

To learn more about how and where to donate food, please visit jfcsatl.org/springfooddrive. To donate to this effort, please contact Jessica Katz-Yonatan, Director of Development at 770.677.9364.