April 1, 2022
Passover Food Drive Tradition Continues
Originally published in the Jewish News by Mala Blomquist
There is a Passover tradition in the Greater Phoenix area that has been going on for more than three decades — the annual Passover Food Drive. This year, through the combined efforts of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Phoenix (BJE), Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS), Ezras Cholim Kosher Food Bank, Jewish Free Loan and Jewish schools, Passover food will be delivered to more than 220 elderly or needy households throughout the Greater Phoenix area.
This year, prices of the food needed to prepare the seder are higher than in previous years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service’s summary findings, the February 2022 consumer price index for “food-at-home,” food purchased at a grocery store or supermarket, was 8.6% higher than in February 2021.
“For more than 30 years, the BJE and JFCS have led the charge to distribute Passover food to those in need, especially the elderly on fixed incomes, to help ease the burden and provide food for a dignified seder,” said Myra Shindler, BJE’s executive director.
Donation boxes to collect Passover food are set up outside at the front of the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, enabling anyone who wants to donate to “drive up and drop off” outside the building. The JFCS office is also accepting donations at their location at 4747 N. Seventh St. #100 in Phoenix.
Items needed include matzah, gefilte fish, wine and grape juice, matzah ball and soup mix, candy, cookies and cake mixes. All products must be in a sealed container and designated “kosher for Passover.” All food donations are being accepted through Thursday, April 7.
In addition to packaged food supplies, cash donations are needed to provide fresh meat and produce. Checks sent to the BJE will be used to purchase whole chickens and supplement the food collected in the drop-off boxes. Donations made to the JFCS will be used to purchase fresh vegetables.
Volunteers from JFCS and teen volunteers from BJE’s Hebrew High of Greater Phoenix will distribute the food boxes. “I know when I have personally delivered to homes, the people who come to the door are so grateful; it warms my heart,” said Shindler. She admits that the greatest impact is often felt by the volunteers. JN