April 9, 2014
By Jacob Kornbluh
Preparations to help the many families in need put food on their sedar table on Passover – the Feast of Unleavened Bread – took a rapid turn as the holiday approaches, with Masbia Soup Kitchen Network packaging 2,500 packages for distribution at three citywide locations.
Wednesday morning, JP caught up with Alex ‘Sendy ‘ Rapaport, Executive Director of Masbia Soup Kitchen, at the ‘Charoset Drive’ distribution center in Borough Park.
he Normandy warehouse at New Utrecht Ave. and 43rd street was stacked with cases of grape juice, eggs and apple; sacks of potatoes; boxes of hand-made and machine matzos and bags of almonds, walnuts and carrots. Over 2000 families called in to the toll-free number for kosher-for-Passover food packages launched last week Monday, in what was dubbed as a ‘Charoset Drive,’ Rapaport told JP.
Masbia will provide this year their largest food distribution since their founding in 2005. Distributing 180,000 meals, worth a retail value over $600,000.
The special 10-item packages included a full ‘sedar plate’ – such as eggs, parsley roots, horseradish, apples, walnuts, almonds and potatoes – as well as chicken, carrots, grape juice and a box of matzos. The packages will be available in Boro Park, Flatbush/Midwood, Rego Park and Manhattan on Thursday, April 10.
On Wednesday, over 80 public school students joined the many local politicians and community leaders in volunteering, some doing it for the first time in their life, preparing the packages that will bring light to many Jewish families in need.
As we entered the facility, Assemblyman Dov Hikind was seen exiting the warehouse after helping with the packaging process and receiving a briefing by Alex Rapaport.
Masbia partnered this year with Lincoln Square Synagogue, Boro Park Jewish Community Council, Ohr Natan, Orthodox Union, Pomegranate, New York Apple Association, New York Apple Sales, Midwood Development Corporation and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Additional support was also provided by The Henry and Susie Orenstein Emergency Food Kitchen Network, UJA Federation of New York, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, City Harvest and Food Bank For New York City.
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