Passover Food Distribution at the Masbia in Flatbush

P4111347 Starting on Sunday morning, April 10th, volunteers gathered at the Masbia in Flatbush to help unload a massive delivery of Passover food.There were 55 cases of grape juice, 27 cases of oil, and over 500 boxes of Matzah, just to name a few. The seven pallets of food took up the whole sidewalk in front of Masbia, leaving only a small path for curious pedestrians to walk through.Seeing cases of food in front of Masbia is not a rare sight, all year-round the Masbia in Flatbush serves as a free kosher restaurant, and food deliveries to keep the kitchen stocked are not unusual. What was special about this food delivery is that Masbia was being temporarily transformed from a free kosher restaurant, into a free kosher for Passover supermarket! Because of this, the food delivery was larger than a typical delivery might be. And this morning delivery was only one of the deliveries that came throughout Sunday.

The Sunday volunteers worked hard to bring all the food inside and arrange itbeautifully, turning the dining area of Masbia into april 2011a Passover market complete with canned goods, dry goods, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, meat and eggs! Thanks to Met Council’s food warehouse and some amazing last-minute food donations and discounts coordinated by Masbia’s Executive Director, Alexander Rapaport, we were able to have so much to give!

On Monday evening volunteers gathered again to staff what was now the MasbiaPassover Market and serve clients from Met Council’s Family Violence Services, a program for victims of domestic violence as well as clients from the Sister to Sister Network, a program for single mothers. Volunteers came from all over the city to greet clients, help them select their food and assist them with carrying groceries. We also had visits from New York City Council Members Lew Fidler and David G. Greenfield, NYC Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, and even Channel 12 News. In five hours we filled over 1,000 bags (which were generously donated byPomegranate Supermarket, a kosher supermarket and Trader Joe’s) with food. We provided almost 200 women with food for their families. One client, while deciding how many bottles of oil she needed, said she would be cooking for ten people! Considering that, the amount of individuals that this food will reach is tremendous.

The kindness of the volunteers was met with the warm gratitude of the clients. Everyone who was there, from Sunday morning to Monday night, is sure to have a happier Passover than they otherwise would. Some of us there received the gift of food, but all of us received the gift of human kindness.


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