When Met Council realized that Holocaust survivors will be stuck, home alone, without food, it reached out to Uber and created a first-of-its-kind pilot to deliver 500 Passover food packages directly to the door of Holocaust survivors. Its efforts made national news on CBS.
Most of those still living with the personal memories of the Holocaust are in their late 70’s or even older and during this COVID-19 outbreak, they are among the most vulnerable populations who are getting the sickest and even dying.
The Met Council for Jewish Poverty and Uber Eats partnered to deliver groceries, the drivers volunteering their services to drop off Kosher for Passover food for those Jewish seniors who can’t go out.
The organization has taken on the challenge of feeding people through 30 food pantries and kitchens around New York City, bringing groceries to many people who have no income at this time. David Greenfield, CEO of the Met Council has called on the New York State to assist them with funding to continue the vast network of pantries that are now jammed with people who no longer have jobs and can’t even make their rent payments.
Met Council has received assistance from the state legislature that has provided funds in their budget to help the many people who can’t afford to buy groceries.
Greenfield said costs were rising for his organization, City Harvest and other similar food distribution organizations because they are competing with large department stores such as Walmart, who are willing to pay more for the same good. Their costs have also risen because they have to hire more drivers, make more deliveries, and replace many of the volunteers who were seniors and can’t work any more. They also have added expenses for Purell, masks, gloves and other PPE.
Jessica Chait, managing director of the food program for Met Council said there are 10’s of thousands of Holocaust survivors living in the borough of Brooklyn.
Sheldon Samuels, an Uber Eats Driver, said it feels “good to give back to the community.”
“I just want to do my part to help people, it’s very compelling to help people from the Holocaust,” Samuels said.
Met Council provides food and delivers to 30 pantries around the city, and is one of the largest food distribution charities in the city.
Met Council needs your help to reach more Survivors. One of the Met Council volunteers recently delivered food to a Holocaust survivor who was in tears, telling the volunteer through a closed door to please stick around a bit. The survivor said that she is her 90’s and this is the most horrible thing to happen to her since the Holocaust. She continued, “I’m living in a tiny apartment, with no one to talk to. You are the first person I’ve spoken to in weeks”.
Seniors who don’t even have access to technology are completely stuck because they can’t go out to buy the food and they have no one delivering the food to them and that’s why it is a vital and critical service that Met Council is offering.