After a loss of food following a power outage on March 2, the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC Sustenance Center and its Rina Shkolnik Kosher Food Pantry will receive a donation of two tons of kosher Passover food from Stop & Shop on March 13.
“Passover is our most celebrated holiday, but the special foods needed for the holiday can cause a financial burden for those whose budgets are already stretched, Stop & Shop's amazing contributions to the food pantry are a godsend,” said Rabbi Steven Graber of Temple Hillel in North Woodmere.
Nearly two years ago, Stop & Shop donated one ton of food for Passover to the food pantry when it was on Central Avenue in Woodmere.
“Our present freedom and our future redemption are inextricably linked in this prayer to our willingness to share with others the blessings we enjoy in our lives,” said Temple Beth El Rabbi Claudio Kupchik, referring to refrain “Next year in Israel,” that is said at Passover Seders. “We commend Stop & Shop for the generous donation to the Rina Shkolnik Kosher Food Pantry that helps fulfill the liberating message of Passover.”
Gural JCC officials have said that the sustenance center was created, “to help meet the growing need for assistance within the Five Towns and across Long Island,” as there are roughly 20,000 Jewish people in Southwestern Nassau and eastern Queens who live in poverty.
"We are so grateful that Shop and Shop not only recognizes the need in the Jewish community but has been so proactive in their support," said Gural JCC Executive Director Amy Mosery.
Established in 2005, the food pantry began by helping 35 families, and it now works with nearly 300 families from the Five Towns and neighboring communities in Nassau and Queens.
Temple Israel of Lawrence Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum said that the supermarket franchise's donation is a challenge and an example to corporate America to look beyond the bottom line.
"[The donation] helps to fulfill the age-old mitzvah of the Passover Seder as a communal meal," Rosenbaum said. "Stop & Shop is enabling the members of our community, regardless of their economic status, to fulfill this commandment that bonds all Jews."