April 11, 2011
For the last 36 hours dozens of volunteers have turned the Masbia central kitchen into a Passover grocery store. They have been arranging a large-scale display of donated Passover staples such as matzah, potato starch, nuts, chicken, meat, oil, grape juice, produce and much more, to be distributed to single mothers. These foods were donated by the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, City Harvest, Food Bank and purchased with money from private donations.
This distribution is a joint effort between Met Council, Masbia and Sister to Sister, a support group for about 500 Jewish single mothers in Brooklyn. All three organizations are collaborating and bringing their own expertise and donors to make this distribution a success. The mothers are invited to come Monday evening (by invitation) to the Masbia storefront soup kitchen on Coney Island Avenue, which has been set up to look like a grocery store, and fill bags with items of their choice. “A grocery store is an understatement,” said Alexander Rapaport executive director of Masbia. “Some of the meats you can only find in high-end, gourmet stores.”
This year the three organizations received many last-minute, unexpected donations, which increases the value of and the amount of food each family will get. “Getting a $50 French Roast in your charity pantry bag is not typical by any means, but this is what the donors wanted to sponsor, so this is what we will distribute,” said Mr. Rapaport. “Masbia is entirely donor driven, Passover and all year round. The meals we serve, and the dignity we serve with them is a bottom-up approach dictated by our donors.”
“We are delighted to be able to offer together with Masbia, the Food Bank and City Harvest, many of “Sister to Sister’s” single mom clients a unique and gourmet like opportunity for Passover,” said Willie Rapfogel, CEO of Met Council. “This helps ensure that we are enhancing the dignified experience at Masbia.”
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