Birthright Israel NEXT has launched Break-the-Fast, a food drive powered by Facebook that aims to help alleviate shortages at food banks around the U.S. on the eve of the Jewish High Holidays.

Working with Avenue Social, an application development firm, Birthright Israel NEXT built a Facebook application that allows participants to form teams, pledge cans and compete with their friends to donate the most food. Within the first 24 hours of the launch, more than 10,000 cans were pledged by people around the country and the numbers continue to grow.

“Food pantries face major shortages this time of year,” commented Morlie Levin, CEO of Birthright Israel NEXT. “Igniting a movement of young adults to restock those pantries and help feed the over 20 million Americans going hungry this year is an action that reflects the values we meditate on during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.”

Synagogues, Hillel and national relief organizations such as Ample Harvest are also joining the effort by setting up collection points and encouraging their membership to participate. Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger has provided educational materials to participants and local activists as well.

For more information, visit Break-the-Fast.org or “Break the Fast” on Facebook to learn more about the program and ways to get involved.

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