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Jewish communities in the Bronx say obtaining kosher food has become a challenge during the pandemic.
According to the city’s website, free kosher meals are available in four out of the five boroughs. The northwest Bronx has a large Jewish community, and volunteers tell News 12 the need there is real.
“So the problem we are seeing is families who are comfortably in the middle class were able to take care of themselves are now struggling,” said Jessica Haller, a volunteer for a kosher food pantry in Riverdale.
Haller says the need for meals has gone from feeding 100 seniors to 250 hungry families.
“The city is facing enormous challenges with a huge part of the city’s population facing food insecurity, so this is a work in progress trying to get food out to every community and trying to get food that meets the specific dietary needs,” says Haller.
Councilmember Andrew Cohen and Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz have been in touch with the appointed COVID-19 food czar, Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, about the problem.
“They can figure that out in the other boroughs the kosher food was used up much faster than they thought it would be and if it’s not eaten then say we tried and the demand is not there,” says Haller.
The Riverdale pantry recently got a private donation from the Jewish Charity Met Council. However, Haller is suggesting that the city expand the grab-and-go kosher food program to the Bronx.
Photo by Edsel L