Met Council on Jewish Poverty has launched an emergency fundraising appeal for the more than 310,000 New Yorkers who rely on their free food distributions for Passover.

In a year where so many families are struggling, Met Council is gearing up to supply almost 3 million pounds of food to members of the Jewish community through its pantries and community partners across the five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey.

It will also provide more than $500,000 in emergency food cards for those without access to one of its food pantries.

Due to inflation and the overall increased need, the organization is aiming to raise $2.5 million in emergency funds to provide for those in need this holiday season.

Last year, Met Council helped 307,993 New Yorkers celebrate Passover—a near doubling of those supported in previous years. It is expecting another year of record numbers in 2022 amid an inflationary crisis that sees no end in sight.

“There are people who in 2019 were able to get by who are now struggling to pay their monthly bills,” said David G. Greenfield, CEO of Met Council. “Those families who lost their jobs during the pandemic and fell behind are struggling to get through Pesach because of unprecedented inflation. The need is greater than we’ve ever seen.”

Even with leveraging its resources to purchase large wholesale quantities of food through its special pricing from manufacturers, the costs are still astronomical. Core products like matzah, gefilte fish and cooking oil have risen in price by as much as 45 percent due to product shortages and inflated costs of raw materials, labor and transportation.

“Not only are we helping more families this year than ever before, we are doing it while seeing exorbitant increases in food prices,” said Greenfield. “While many in the community are celebrating Pesach in resorts, there are just as many rationing their trips to the supermarket in hopes of saving money on gas.”

The free Passover packages being distributed include fresh produce, kosher chicken, eggs, matzah, gefilte fish and more than 25 additional items.

For more information and to participate in the campaign, visit: www.metcouncil.org/pesach.

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