Letter to the Editor: Jewish Food Pantry needs donations


Jewish Food Pantry needs contributions        

I am someone who uses the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry every month (we are allowed one visit a month).

I was very distressed and upset my last two visits to the Jewish Pantry because it was pretty much bare–it never has been this way in all of the years I have been going.

There were hardly any fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from, hardly any refrigerated items, and the canned and boxed items we were allowed was literally cut in  half or a third compared to what we were previously allowed.

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Before we were allowed maybe three cans of canned vegetables, for instance (for a family of one person like me). Now we could only have one can.

I asked why this had happened and I was told both times by volunteers that people in the community just weren’t donating that much anymore. I asked why and they didn’t know why. 

From what I have heard, lack of food donations for other food pantries in St. Louis is also a problem now. I keep kosher, so the Jewish Food Pantry is my only option as far as food pantries in  St. Louis.

I urge all synagogues and temples in St. Louis to start a regular food drive for the St. Louis Jewish Food Pantry to remedy this situation for your fellow Jews as well as other people who are served by the Jewish Food Pantry.

Let’s get the ball rolling so we can help people with their daily needs of having enough to eat and hopefully something very good to eat.

Alice J. Brown, University City

Editor’s Note: The Jewish Light spoke to Judy Berkowitz, director of the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, who explained that while there is not a shortage of food per se, the amount and selection of items at the pantry vary from day to day, and some days are scarcer than others. She said the summer is particularly demanding because children who receive free breakfast and lunch at school are home and typically, organizations don’t run food drives during this time. She also notes that the pantry cannot exist without donations and welcomes them. “We serve 2,000 families a month,” she says, “and during the summer, we have many new families coming in.”