Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) of Atlanta and Jewish Education Collaborative, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, has announced a community-wide food drive to help fill the shelves at the JF&CS food pantry.
According to Marsha Hurwitz, vice president of major gifts at the Jewish Federation, food drive leaders Jan and Marsha Spector are “long-time supporters of the Atlanta Jewish community who work quietly and tirelessly to make our world a better place. They expressed concern about Jewish Atlantans going hungry and decided they wanted to help!”
“Food security is a basic human right,” says Jan Spector. “It saddens us to think there are Jews in Atlanta who are going hungry or have to choose between food or medicine or gas for their cars. At Purim, we learn of the ‘halachic imperative of matanot l’evyonim,’ to give gifts to the poor … to make sure no one is hungry. That’s why we are partnering with the Federation’s Jewish Education Collaborative and JF&CS to encourage our community members to collect food for the JF&CS Food Pantry.”
She added that, with Passover right around the corner, the group knows more community members will need extra funds to purchase Passover food items.
“We have created a ‘Feed the Hungry Challenge Match’ where we will match $1 for $1 up to $25,000 for contributions made between Purim and Pesach to JF&CS’s Food Pantry fund,” said Marsha Spector.
With prices going up on food, gas and basic essentials, many community members may find themselves in need once again, or for the first time ever. During the pandemic, JF&CS fed more than 7,000 Jewish community members, with the average age of recipients being over 70 years old. JF&CS delivered food to elderly residents and those who were housebound. Now, the agency is expecting another influx in requests.
Shelley Miller, director of support services at JF&CS said, “this food drive has come at the perfect time. We expect to see the demand continue to rise in the coming weeks, and we are running low on many items. We really appreciate the JEC and the Spectors for their help in making this project a reality.”
Food donations can be dropped off at JF&CS (4549 Chamblee Dunwoody Road) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at participating food pantry partners. The Jewish Education Collaborative includes 16 supplemental Jewish education programs, including congregational schools and Jewish Kids Groups.
“Jewish tradition teaches that we should not delay if we have the opportunity to do a mitzvah. When we all collaborate across organizations and work together as a community, not only can we perform a mitzvah swiftly, but we can also have a greater impact,” Miller added.
Although this project is starting with the JEC, JF&CS welcomes all Jewish organizations to collect food for the pantry. The Davis Academy is also participating in the food drive, and requests are out to other Jewish schools and organizations.
Marsha Spector hopes that “together, we will shine a light on the issue of food insecurity in our Atlanta Jewish community and how we can eliminate it!”
To learn more about how and where to donate food, please visit jfcsatl.org/springfooddrive. To donate, please contact Jessica Katz-Yonatan, JF&CS Director of Development at (770) 677-9364. ì
- jewish federation of greater atlanta
- Jewish Family and Career Services
- The Davis Academy
- Jewish Education Collaborative
- Food Pantry
- Marsha Hurwitz
- Food drive
- Jan Spector
- Marsha Spector
- Feed the Hungry Challenge Match
- Shelley Miller
- Jewish Kids Groups
- Jessica Katz Yonatan