More than 25 families in NJ received boxes of food on Sunday April 1, marking the launch of the Jewish Relief Agency (JRA) in New Jersey MetroWest. The completion of the Passover food delivery was a great success.
The operation was a feat of team work and coordination. Community volunteers donated 40 minutes of their Sunday morning to pack boxes of kosher, non-perishable food and deliver them on a local drop-off route to families in need. The Rabbinical College of America hosted the distribution center on their campus in Morristown, NJ (for more information on the RCA, visit www.RCA.edu).
The JRA started in Philadelphia 13 years ago as a grass roots food bank delivering 15 boxes a month. Today JRA Philadelphia delivers over 2,750 packages each month with over 10,000 volunteers. It is planned that JRA New Jersey Metrowest will meet the needs of this community in the same manner.
The Grossman family was quick to support and invest in the New Jersey startup. Mary Grossman and her teenage daughter, Alex, were the first to volunteer. Mary reflected, “I am impressed that JRA reached out to those in our community who need help. I knew that people were having a hard time, but I did not know where to find them or know how easy it would be to help." Mother and daughter enjoyed their time together. Mary added, "It is important that I impart on my daughter that giving back to the community is an important family value".
"If you think there's no one struggling out there, think again," says Director of JRA Metrowest, Aaron Goodman, in response to those who question the need in New Jersey. "Hard economic times have left people unable to make ends meet so we are here to help.” Goodman emphasized that volunteers are an essential element to JRA’s mission. “We provide volunteers with an opportunity to give back to their community and empower them to positively impact their immediate surroundings".
Larry Rothenberg, a member of the board of directors for the Rabbinical College of America and JRA lay leader, was there with his daughter, Gloria. “It is a very powerful experience to actually and physically help another person. While giving money is important, giving of yourself and connecting with others can also be very powerful.”
JRA is a memorable and meaningful opportunity for families and friends to get together to do an act of kindness.
The JRA Metrowest is committed to providing free food to those in need. Food distributions take place one Sunday each month from 10:00 am until midday throughout the year. The next delivery is scheduled for May 13, 2012. Contact JRA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646-620-9041 to request a food delivery or volunteer.