New York - This year food charities are using a new tool to bust old myths about who they serve across the city and in the Bronx.
The Food Bank for New York City has launched a Passover virtual food drive, which lets donors choose what kosher foods they will give to struggling Jewish neighbors, just as if they were doing online grocery shopping.
It also lets people know that hunger affects those of every creed and culture.
“Tools like the virtual food drive allow us to tell a better story about who is hungry,” said Food Bank President and CEO Margarette Purvis. “So many people still believe we are only serving homeless people. No. It’s people with college degrees, people who lost a job. It’s everyday people.
Thousands of Hanukkah and Passover meals are distributed each year by the Bronx Jewish Community Council, mostly to homebound seniors without families to celebrate holidays with them.
BJCC’s Director of Operations, Rose Turshen, said she hopes the online food drive will get young people thinking about this forgotten population.
“We are really excited about this virtual food drive,” Turshen said. “I think this is really unique and innovative. My generation, we don’t write checks.”
Turshen is 28. She said younger people are more likely to donate online, she said. “I really think this is going to drive some new online donations.”
A holiday like Passover, during which observant Jews must stock their kitchens entirely with kosher food, can create a devastating expense for people quietly struggling with poverty, Purvis said.
The Food Bank will give all proceeds from the drive to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, which fed more than 50,000 Jewish families last Passover. This year the Met Council has committed to provide more than 2 million pounds of Kosher food to needy Jewish families.
To donate, visit the Food Bank’s website at http://www.foodbanknyc.org/.