Legislation would require USDA to monitor and increase kosher food supply.
A New York senator and congressman on Monday announced that they introduced new legislation in Congress to try to ensure that kosher food pantries receive enough food.
The legislation, sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Joe Crowley, both Democrats, requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure it ends up at kosher food banks, according to a press release.
As poverty rates rise, City Harvest is struggling to attract funding for its growing kosher program.
Ion Shubernetskiy’s shirt is graying. His hair is thin; his blue sneakers are bargain-bin flimsy. But the 77-year-old Moldovan, a former factory worker, is comfortable cutting corners when it comes to his personal appearance.
“Hey, I buy what I can afford. I don’t go into Manhattan,” he jokes in Russian, through a translator. What he won’t sacrifice is his kashrut, or kosher diet. Keeping kosher under Communism was difficult and dangerous. He won’t stop now, although he lives on public assistance.
With the weather still hot, summer camp over and the children restless, the last week before school starts can be a challenge for many parents.
All the more so for haredi parents, who on average have more than three times the number of children as other New York Jewish parents, according to a recent UJA-Federation of New York study. While many of the children receive federally subsidized meals at camp and school, during that last week of summer — with no food programs — low-income families often struggle to get everyone fed.
The Celebrate Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue got off to a rousing start Sunday in the Grand Ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel where a score of politicians mounted the podium to outdo each other in praise of the Jewish homeland.
It's become a tradition for politicos leading the parade to come first to the annual legislative breakfast of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, now known as Met Council .
Under the direction of board chair Merryl H. Tisch, 16 individuals received leadership awards for their support of the council's efforts to alleviate poverty in New York.
Drastic cuts to reduce the state's $10 billion budget deficit proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo may cause agencies under the UJA-Federation umbrella to lose as much this year as they have in the past three years combined.
In what the federation calls a "gigantic challenge," agencies providing immigrant services, employment, child care programs will lose about $30 million in revenue and an additional $30 million in foregone funds, such as cost of living increases -- roughly the amount of funding that has been decreased since 2008.
An estimated 50,000 needy Jews in the city received special Rosh HaShanah food packages in the past two weeks, and UJA-Federation provided a special grant to allow those below the poverty level to receive food vouchers redeemable at their local supermarkets.
"We've been doing this for 20 years," said William Rapfogel, executive director of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty.