Food initiative helps 600 families during Passover in Hackney

JCC volunteers distribute food.

The Jewish Community Council (JCC) has been organising food drives, helping hundreds of Jewish and non-Jewish families during the pandemic. - Credit: JCC

A food drive organised by members of Hackney's Orthodox Jewish community saw food packages delivered to more than 600 families.

The Jewish Community Council (JCC) of Stamford Hill organised the food drive to support families preparing for the Jewish holiday of Passover, also called Pesah or Pesach in Hebrew.

It ensured families, each with an average of eight members, had the correct food to eat throughout the holiday which began on the evening March 27 and ends on April 4. 

Rabbi Levi Schapiro, JCC director, said: "For me to know there are children going to sleep hungry is very painful and frankly speaking unacceptable, I will do everything in my power to ensure children and families have the food they need to strive and survive.

"Knowing there are hundreds of large families who now have certainty knowing at home they now have the food they need to feed their children is truly inspiring."

JCC volunteers distribute food parcels.

The JCC's Interfaith and Unity food programme has supported hundreds of families in Hackney and has extended its support to families in Tottenham. - Credit: JCC

JCC's most recent distribution of food parcels took place over three days from March 24, but they have been supporting people throughout the pandemic with similar fresh food drives since May, 2020 as part of a Unity and Interfaith project. 

The project's wider aim has been to support hundreds of residents from all walks of life, such as low-income families and those who have experienced trauma and loss during Covid. 

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JCC founder Rabbi Levi Schapiro said the project has been "simply life-saving": "It's about sharing food with all the communities and giving all the communities support.

"It does not make a difference if you are Jewish or not Jewish, we are there to help you."

Food parcels include fresh ingredients like fish and meats, fruits and vegetables, grape juices, eggs and water. 

Rabbi Schapiro thanked all JCC volunteers and supporters who have made the food drives possible, adding: "[The project] brings together unity and I always say, with unity we can overcome any challenge."

The JCC has also extended its service to wider local communities in Hackney and Tottenham. 

Follow the JCC on twitter @jccnorthlondon

A JCC volunteer helps sort produce for food parcels.

The latest food drive helped 600 families prepare for Passover. - Credit: JCC