NY’s Leaders Help Met Council Distribute Kosher Food to 100K before Rosh Hashana

September 25, 2019

Originally published in The Jewish Voice on September 25, 2019.

Met Council CEO David Greenfield (left) is pictured above with several other prominent New York City leaders as they volunteer their services in helping to prepare generous Rosh HaShanah food packages for those in need

The largest free kosher food distribution in America takes place over the course of one month – right here in New York. In preparation for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, over 900 community volunteers and 20 elected officials joined the Met Council these past weeks at 82 locations in Borough Park, Flatbush, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island to distribute fresh food packages for over 100,000 New Yorkers in need of food for Yom Tov.

Met Council works with any Jewish organization that is interested to make sure that communities across New York have food for the holidays. The diverse list of groups that Met Council provides free food for includes from Boro Park JCC to COJO Flatbush, from the Vaad Hakhol of Crown Heights to the JCC of Washington Heights to Tomchei Shabbos of Queens. Additionally, during the year, Met Council provides food daily to 39 kosher food pantries in New York ensuring that no one in the community goes hungry.

Met Council distributed 26,000 jars of honey and hundreds of thousands of pounds of fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish and glatt kosher chicken during the largest free Yom Tov distribution in The United States.

“During these Yomim Noraim (High Holidays) there is no greater mitzvah than tzedakah – helping our fellow neighbors in need,” said Met Council CEO David G. Greenfield. “We at Met Council are grateful to the hundreds of volunteers, donors, community and elected leaders who came together in the weeks before Yom Tov to make sure that everyone that needed food in New York had fresh quality kosher food. It’s a real zechus (privilege) for us at Met Council to operate the largest free kosher food distribution network in the world.”

Council Members Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan), Mark Gjonaj (D-Bronx), Donovan Richards (D-Queens), Barry Grodenchik (D-Queens), Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn); Kalman Yeger (D-Brooklyn), State Senators Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens), Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn), Assembly Members Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn), Alan Maisel (D-Brooklyn), Simcha Eichenstein (D-Brooklyn), Nily Rozic (D-Queens), David Weprin (D-Queens), Dan Rosenthal (D-Queens); and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer joined Met Council leaders and volunteers at our various distribution locations or assisted with packaging at our local hubs throughout the week.

On Sunday, Met Council board members, their families and dozens of volunteers from Park Avenue Synagogue helped pack over 1,150 food packages for seniors and CUNY Hillel students at Met Council’s new Manhattan volunteer hub. “This year’s Rosh Hashanah distributions were our most successful yet thanks to our Met Council Food Czar Jessica Chait and our active support from co-Presidents Ben Tisch and Joseph Allerhand and our friends at UJA-Federation of New York. We came up with new and improved ways to serve the community including an expansion of our digital food pantry system.”

Met Council, the largest tzedakah in New York, has ten different programs dedicated to helping over 225,000 New Yorkers in need each year. Programs range from affordable housing at 21 locations across New York to domestic and family violence services to Holocaust survivor services to senior programming to the largest free kosher food distribution program in the world.