Wednesday, March 2, 2011

JASA Helps Feed the Hungry with Food Drive March 1st to 10th

Throughout the five boroughs, approximately 1.4 million people — mainly women, children, seniors, the working poor and people with disabilities — rely on soup kitchens and food pantries, according to the Food Bank for New York City. “Because the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) recognizes this is such a critical issue, we are spearheading a local food drive from March 1 to 10,” said Alex Collier, JASA’s Director of Volunteer Services and Special Projects. JASA will be joining UJA Federation’s and Americorps’ efforts to help defeat hunger in the community by participating in Pack It Up for Purim. “Each year, Jews around the world send food packages to their neighbors as part of the Purim celebration. In the spirit of the holiday, we’re hoping to collect 1,000 food packages for needy New Yorkers,” said Collier.

“JASA is inviting the community to donate nutritional non-perishable goods that will be contributed to local food pantries,” said Aileen Gitelson, JASA CEO. “Team up with your neighbors, friends, and family and arrange to donate today. Then drop off your package at the most convenient JASA site March 3 through March 10. Your generosity will provide a safety net for the impoverished in New York,” Gitelson added.

Collier offered a suggested list of goods including: whole-grain cereal or oatmeal; pasta; canned vegetables; rice; 100 percent fruit juice; dried fruit or granola bars; canned tuna; canned or dried beans; plastic containers of peanut butter; and dessert (non-perishable). “For safety concerns, please do not include glass containers. Pop-top cans are a plus,” she said.

Donations will be accepted at JASA Central, 132 W. 31st Street, 10th Floor, New York City. Contact Carmen Fonseca at or (212) 991-6572 for additional JASA drop-off locations throughout the metropolitan area.

“Through your help, we can reach our goal of helping the most vulnerable,” said Gitelson.

JASA is one of the largest community-based, voluntary social service agencies serving the aged in the United States. Its mission is to sustain and enrich the lives of the aging in the New York metropolitan area so that they can remain in the community with dignity and autonomy.

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