Before the Jewish New Year, Met Council, elected officials and volunteers distributed 230,000 pounds of kosher food, including 60 tons of apples, to an estimated 24,000 families in need at 76 sites throughout New York City. These holiday food packages allowed families across the five boroughs to partake in holiday festivities despite the often prohibitive cost of kosher food.
Ahead of Jewish holidays, Met Council distributes an increased amount of food because we understand the unique challenge of affording kosher food and the importance of food for rituals. Throughout the world, food is often the centerpiece of religious and cultural events. Sharing a meal with friends and family in times of celebration or observance carries symbolic meaning essential to the holidays they represent.
“The Jewish New Year is a time of renewal and hope for the coming year. Unfortunately, for too many New Yorkers, the holidays are a particularly stressful time of year as they struggle to feed their family,” said David M. Frankel, CEO and Executive Director of Met Council. “In New York City, there are a half a million poor and near poor Jewish New Yorkers who face hunger every day. The 230,000 pounds of food we distributed allowed our clients to observe the Jewish New Year with a traditional and nutritious meal that otherwise would have been price prohibitive.”
These High Holiday food packages are part of Met Council’s year round, comprehensive kosher food program, through which we distribute more than 5 million pounds of food packages, nearly $500,000 in emergency food vouchers, and 116,000 prepared meals to supplement low-income households throughout New York City. These meals enable Met Council clients to eat more healthfully — and ensure that they can use their limited income to meet other daily needs, such as rent, clothing and medication.
The food packages include traditional staples, such as apples, honey, carrots, salmon, rice and milk.