Holocaust survivors to get nutrition help

(JTA) — A nutritional guidance program has been established for needy Holocaust survivors.

The Blue Card, a national non-profit organization dedicated to aiding more than 2,000 needy Holocaust survivors in New York, on Thursday unveiled the Rita Berkowitz Nutritional Guidance Program, providing monthly food stipends and nutritional supplements. It also works to educate participants on proper nutrition.

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The program was developed by registered dietitian nutritionists who specialize in cross-cultural awareness and reducing health disparities, specifically in the Jewish population.

“Studies show that Holocaust survivors have, as is to be expected, distorted attitudes toward food,” Masha Pearl, the Blue Card’s executive director, said in a statement. “Many were deprived of food for such prolonged periods that they now experience disordered eating and/or unhealthy food purchase and storage habits, which become particularly problematic as they age.”

Many survivors, Pearl pointed out, can’t throw food away even if it is spoiled, and experience anxiety if certain foods are unavailable.

Funding for the program was donated by Lou Berkowitz and his wife, Amy Berkowitz.

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