As COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, Kosher Food Lifeline (KFL), a program of the Orthodox Union, launched programs to combat the anticipated significant increase in food insecurity, especially for the Passover holiday.
With many airlines cancelling flights – especially flights to Israel – for the foreseeable future, there exists an abundance of available kosher meals. To avoid their going to waste, KFL arranged for Masbia, a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry, to deliver these meals to those who need them.
Second, the organization launched a web resource on the KFL website (www.ou.org/kfl) to help match excess food with those who are in need. The online portal allows for people all over the U.S. to submit information about available kosher food (both chametz for before Passover or kosher for Passover food) in different communities. Those in need can access the website and search by city and state to find food which is free or low-cost so that they can properly nourish themselves during this difficult time.
Third, the OU and Kosher Food Lifeline launched an emergency Passover food campaign to help the unprecedented number of families within our community who are experiencing financial strains that they never imagined they would suffer.
Even in normal economic times, more than 10-percent of the Jewish community faces food insecurity issues. But with businesses contracting and the stock market in decline, the current crisis will impact far more families that usual.