As the supply for free Passover provisions dwindled away at the Queens Jewish Community Council (QJCC) kosher food pantry after a 325 percent increase in demand from needy families, Stop & Shop has answered the call for help.
With elected officials and Jewish leaders from a around the borough on hand, Stop & Shop in Forest Hills donated 1,000 pounds of kosher food to the QJCC to be distributed among those living in impoverished conditions. According to the QJCC, they served 930 families in 2009, 1,818 in 2010 and already 2,240 families with emergency assistance since February.
“Unfortunately, this Passover will be a very difficult holiday,” said Tammie Smith, store Manager of the Forest Hills Stop & Shop. “We hope those that receive these food products will be able to enjoy their holiday so they can have a sweet and happy Passover.”
Included in the donations were matzo, grape juice, gefilte fish, tuna, apple sauce and many more kosher products. Smith was joined by Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, Illene Marcus of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Cynthia Zalinsky, executive director of the QJCC, Warren Hecht, president of the QJCC and Helen Marshall, borough president, who spoke about the troubles facing the ancient Israelites who were freed from slavery; the commemoration of the first Passover.
“Today there are new kinds of burdens and poverty is unfortunately one of them,” said Marshall. “But now we are ready for the Seder.”
Passover begins at sundown on April 18 at sunset and ends on April 25.