Chanukah was a happy swirl of activity for many in South Florida Jewish community. Every day and every night was filled with festivals, events, parties, and menorah-lighting celebrations. Diets were suspended, dreidels were spun, presents were exchanged, and in every Jewish school little Maccabees sang and danced with glee.
Some families in our community, however, had a less than joyous time. Those who were barely scraping by were worried they could not provide the barest holiday, especially for their children. For many of these unfortunate families, the Jewish Community Services (JCS) Kosher Food Bank in North Miami offered a welcome and helping hand.
The JCS Kosher Food Bank provided tremendous help for many needy Jewish families in South Florida during Chanukah. The store not only had its usual groceries and staples but stocked menorahs and candles, dreidels, gifts, toys and bicycles: everything needed to ensure a happy holiday for all. The bank, however, is not a holiday-only endeavor; it’s there for the community on an ongoing basis, and helps several hundred families.
People who come to the food bank are interviewed and accepted based on federal poverty guidelines. The JCS Kosher Food Bank is a tremendous resource that goes beyond providing food – clients are helped with caseworkers and job assistance. They are encouraged and given support.
The JCS Kosher Food Bank makes private appointments to ensure confidentiality. Individuals and families keep their dignity. Shopping in the store is facilitated in separate half-hour sessions.
The food bank provides fresh produce, meat and hot dogs, canned goods, groceries, refrigerated items and even diapers. It is a literal lifesaver, especially in these difficult times. It is truly a “miracle of lights,” on Chanukah and throughout the year.
For more information about the JCS Kosher Food Bank, or to volunteer, contribute or apply for assistance, call 305-947-8093 or visit www.jcsfl.org.
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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