An Atlanta nonprofit, Yad L’Yad, is among kosher food programs nationwide to receive money from a new division of the Orthodox Union. Kosher Food Lifeline offers need-based help for food pantries and other social service programs and agencies feeding the local community.
Kedem Foods, which specializes in kosher, gluten-free and all-natural foods, provided a $200,000 grant to launch the new program prior to Passover 2019.
Through the program, Yad L’Yad received money to spend on Kedem products, selecting 30 Passover food items to help Jewish families in need. Yad L’Yad is a grass roots organization established to offer short-term assistance to local Jewish individuals and families.
“The OU’s next step is to help Yad L’Yad with donations and lowering the costs of foods to those in need there,” said Allison Deal, founding director of the Kosher Food Lifeline.
The organization receives kosher food through its partnership with the Orthodox Union.
“Food insecurity is an important issue for us,” said Kedem Vice President Charles Herzog. “We are always looking for ways to work with our communities and help where we can, and OU’s Kosher Food Lifeline program ensured that we were sending exactly what was needed, where it was needed. We look forward to future partnerships with KFL and its network of kosher pantries.”
More than 150,000 pounds of Kosher for Passover food were distributed to 53 partnered organizations who delivered it to communities in Georgia and 15 other states, supporting more than 17,000 Jewish families in need.
There are more than 215 agencies in 24 states across the country that provide low-cost or free kosher food to individuals and families who have challenges gaining access to food. “Financial strains within the Jewish community cannot be understated,” said Orthodox Union Vice President Allen Fagin. “As the OU tackles affordability issues on a number of fronts, we recognize those in our community who struggle each day to put nutritious kosher food on the table.”
KFL’s Deal said, “This is the first time a national program at this scale has addressed the needs of kosher food pantries, many which are run by hardworking volunteers with limited resources. By coordinating purchases and helping corporate food donors to direct donations where they are needed, we can increase efficiency, eliminate waste, bring prices down, and hopefully help these agencies provide more nutritious, protein-rich kosher food to those who need it most.”