Chabad Fox Chapel food drive collecting items to feed hungry
No matter how much money Rabbi Ely Rosenfeld raises to help the needy, he said the smiles he delivers are more valuable.
Rosenfeld, leader of Chabad Fox Chapel, has started a food relief drive to dovetail with his annual holiday fundraiser to help ensure no one in the Lower Valley goes hungry, particularly this time of year.
“There are so many people in our community that have less than us and we are blessed to be able to be in the position of giving,” said Rosenfeld, whose Chabad center opened in O'Hara 12 years ago. “The sense of satisfaction that a family gets from seeing a smile from the receiver is priceless.”
A partnership with the Jewish Relief Agency, a Philadelphia-based food bank, took effect this summer.
The effort provides families in need with a 12-by-12-inch box of food once a month, funded by donors to the Chabad center along Old Freeport Road.
With his holiday fundraiser bringing in more than $10,000 a year, Rosenfeld said he realized how strongly residents felt about helping their neighbors.
“There are people who wanted to contribute more than writing a check,” he said.
Deliveries have tripled, from 25 to 75, in just three months, and more requests have been put on hold until Rosenfeld can recruit more help.
“We have requests from 180 families,” he said.
Volunteers meet once a month to package and deliver food. The work takes about 90 minutes.
Jeff Lemberg of Indiana Township signed up after working with a similar program during a trip to Israel.
“There was a Chabad center there that we helped to pack up candy for families who had loved ones killed in terrorist acts,” Lemberg said. “I felt good about getting involved in helping a community.”
Lemberg has become a designated driver for the food relief program, making deliveries across Pittsburgh's East End. He said the program has reached more than its target crowd of the less fortunate.
“It's been helping not only people who need it because of finances, but people who have problems getting out of the house,” he said.
Nikki O'Gorman, Chabad spokeswoman, said volunteers enjoy the hands-on task and can make new friends while helping the community.
“With holidays coming up, people look forward to a table filled with delicious honey cakes, Challah and sweet potato soup,” O'Gorman said. “But what if your holiday table wasn't full of food to enjoy, let alone full of the celebratory spirit?”
She said the program is unique not because of its mission, but the process.
“There's a new approach where all a person has to do is call and ask, and they'll be put on the list,” she said. “There's no questions asked, no hoops to jump through.”
O'Gorman said there is a certain level of anonymity for recipients, because volunteers are matched with deliveries in different areas.
“We are thrilled that the Pittsburgh JRA is already making a difference in the lives of families struggling with food insecurity in their community,” said Amy Krulik, executive director of the JRA Philadelphia branch.
“For too many families, the food delivered each month by the Pittsburgh JRA means the difference between having enough to eat and going without. The community is truly benefiting from the support of the dozens of volunteers who pack and deliver each month.”
For information on how to volunteer for or receive help from the food relief program, call 412-212-6644.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Workshop to help Etna, Millvale move toward solar energy
- Grant money to help UPMC St. Margaret fight youth obesity
- Shady Side Academy students pass knowledge on to others
- Sharpsburg considers intern to help with borough business
- Sharpsburg North Canal Street fire investigation continues
- Aspinwall Catholic school gears up for Lenten fish fry
- Sharpsburg appoints junior council member
- Drake: ‘The Legend’ combines tennis and academia