On Tuesday, March 12, Stop & Shop Supermarket provided two tons of kosher-for-Passover food and supplies to the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula, in an effort to assist the thousands of families whose homes were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. The donation of holiday staples included matzah, soup, matzah-ball mix/matzah meal, grape juice, apple juice, gefilte fish, horseradish, potatoes, canned fruit, canned tuna, applesauce, coffee, and Passover cookies.
Impacted families, Rockaway area rabbis, elected officials, community leaders, and representatives of Met Council/UJA and the JCCRP accepted delivery from Stop & Shop on behalf of the community. The large showing was vital and led to the event being aired on NY1 News and Fox 5 News. Extensive media exposure can be crucial to receiving donations.
“It is our hope that families impacted by Superstorm Sandy will be able to enjoy Passover. Our effort to assist the residents of Far Rockaway underscores Stop & Shop’s commitment to the communities we serve and families who are in need,” said Arlene Putterman, manager of public and community relations of Stop & Shop’s NY Metro Division. “We appreciate the efforts of our elected officials, the JCCRP, Met Council, and UJA Federation of New York to help the residents of Far Rockaway deal with the ongoing hardships created by Superstorm Sandy.”
“The JCCRP has been one of the local agencies instrumental in assisting neighborhood residents with basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, security, toiletries, blankets, disposable diapers, and heaters,” said Nathan Krasnovsky, the executive director of the JCCRP. “With Passover approaching, the needs of the Jewish community have multiplied. The generous donation by Stop & Shop will go a long way in helping our community rebuild and lead us back to the path of self-sufficiency.”
Ettie Schoor, founder and director of Project Nivneh, was on hand to accept the donation on behalf of the community. “I want to thank the hundreds of partners, team leaders, and committee heads who have made the Partners in Sandy Program the success that it is today. ‘Thank you’ is not enough for all you have done for your families. Your acts of kindness are impossible to describe and I am in total awe by some of the stories that I get to hear on a daily basis. The Partners in Sandy Program now has a database with more than 1,200 affected families. Project Nivneh could not have accomplished what it has done without the continued support from various organizations and philanthropists who have reached out with generous support. On that note, we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to Stop & Shop for their generous donation to the community.”
“This has been an especially challenging year for New Yorkers in need. Due to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Sandy, many households we serve have fallen deeper into poverty, while others have become needy due to Sandy and are struggling to find a way out. We are truly humbled by the generosity and acts of loving-kindness of our communities, neighbors, and volunteers from far away,” said William E. Rapfogel, Met Council CEO.
Congressman Gregory Meeks, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Far Rockaway), and New York City Councilman Donovan Richards, as well as Rabbi Eliezer Feuer of the Young Israel of Wavecrest & Bayswater and Rabbi Avrohom Halpern of the Sh’or Yoshuv Institute, congratulated Stop & Shop for their invaluable assistance in helping to alleviate hunger over Passover.
Aryeh Yanofsky, a Far Rockaway resident, said he and his neighbors were most grateful for Stop & Shop’s outreach. “In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, many people have been thrown into financial turmoil. This is in addition to those who had been struggling prior, and Sandy exacerbated their financial issues. Stop & Shop has jumped in to do something to help those who desperately need the assistance. Their enormous donation will go a long way to help a devastated community on their road to recovery.”
Jewish community leaders say as many as 40% of the Rockaway Jewish Community were displaced by Sandy and more than four months later are not only struggling to rebuild their homes but are looking for a way to appropriately celebrate the Passover holiday. Area rabbis say that in addition to the kosher-for-Passover food that community members need, they are also in need of paper plates, paper cups, and plastic cutlery since their Passover dishes were destroyed by Sandy.
To contact the JCCRP, call 718-327-7755 or visit them at 1525 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway or online at www.jccrp.org, where you can join the e-mail list to be notified of all grant and volunteer opportunities as well as giveaways. PayPal donations to the JCCRP can be done directly through the JCCRP website with 100% of all donations going directly to needy families. v