Annual food drive helps 70 families in need at Passover


Nassau County Shomrim Society and Hatzilu Rescue Organization teamed up once again on Sunday, April 10, to deliver meals to more than 70 needy families celebrating Passover. This year volunteers from both organizations met at a food warehouse in Holtsville to gather food for distribution.

Food lists are made based on the food that is donated. For the Passover food drive, the Shomrim Society collects the food for delivery, and any extra food is sent to the Hatzilu food warehouse in Baldwin.

Each volunteer held a list of all the items and walked around the food warehouse to fill the boxes for families in need of food for the holiday, with each list personalized to best meet each family’s preferences.

Nassau County Shomrim Vice President Alan Hirsch discussed the partnership with Hatzilu Rescue. “We team up with Hatzilu and use a lot of their client list that they take care of all year long,” said Hirsch. “There’s a lot of needy people out there, more than we can take care of, but we try.”

Shomrim also supplies families with a gift certificate to the supermarket.

Hatzilu board member Dona Schwab discussed the seasonal partnership. “A lot of people show up. We have a lot of people from Shomrim and we have a lot of our own people,” said Schwab. “Shomrim does all the organization and we supply the names and the addresses and we contact the people to make sure they want the food.”

While the Passover food drive helps those celebrating the Jewish holiday, Hatzilu offers such help year-round across Nassau County regardless of religion or ethnicity.

“This is the one event that we do for just Jewish families, but we have Hispanic families, black families, white families and Chinese families,” said Schwab. “Anyone who asks, we help. It makes a big difference for a lot of families.”

All volunteers packed up to four boxes of food in their own cars to deliver to assigned families. Most volunteers delivered to two families with some delivering to as many as three families.

Oceanside chamber member Mark Greenberg, who has been a member of both Hatzilu and Shomrim Society, once again volunteered, alongside his son, Maxwell, to deliver food to two Oceanside families.

Greenberg, who creates websites for small businesses in Oceanside, has been a part of both organizations for nearly a decade; his son, who is in eighth grade, has been assisting since he was in kindergarten.

As Hatzilu helps families year-round, Greenberg, who regularly delivers to a family in Freeport throughout the year, remains dedicated to helping families.

“Every week a driver is delivering food to somebody,” said Greenberg. “I’m happy to do it.”

The Oceanside families he delivered food to are thankful for the help of Hatzilu and the seasonal food drive with Shomrim. “They’re the best,” said one food recipient in Oceanside, who has been receiving assistance from Hatzilu for more than a year. “I couldn’t make it without them.”