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Record Number of Families to Receive Pesach Assistance this Year

ts.jpgLakewood, NJ – With the staggering economy wreaking havoc on ba’alei mishpocha across the board, unfortunately the various communal institutions and distributions dedicated to providing for struggling families are finding themselves hard-pressed to accommodate this year’s unprecedented demand for assistance. While this is true in all communities, the phenomenon is perhaps more pronounced in younger communities such as Lakewood, where an overwhelming proportion of the kehilla is comprised of young families with many mouths to feed, bli ayin hora.
Even among those who have managed to hold their jobs, many have taken steep salary cuts. Moadim Lesimcha is an organization in Lakewood that provides low-cost bulk items directly to larger families with no markup. Rabbi Yossi Schreiber, founder of this program, says that this year they have received orders from well over 1,000 families, compared to 700families in previous years distributions.
One prominent fundraiser told YWN that regular large-scale donors have significantly scaled back their contributions this year and that his distribution will be relying heavily on soliciting more modest contributions from the broader public.

YWN spoke with Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Trainer, Director of Development for Lakewood’s Tomchei Shabbos organization. Rabbi Trainer said that in the organization’s twenty-year history, it has never experienced such a rise in demand for pre-Pesach assistance, especially from formerly ba’alei parnassah that in the past were able to make ends meet. “The trend is universal, he said. We will be providing the full Pesach needs for about 400 families this year. That’s approximately 100-150 families in addition to our year-round distribution roster. The list includes balebattim, mechanchim and even prominent marbitzei Torah.”
Rabbi Yehuda M. Slomuic, Founder of Tomchei Shabbos of Lakewood elaborates; “The average cost per family runs at approximately $1000. This includes meat, fish, matzah, wine, fruits, vegetables, eggs and all staple items. Food vendors and distributors have been exceptionally kind and generous, providing supplies at extremely reduced pricing, thereby maximizing the contributions of our donors.”

Tomchei Shabbos’s Pesach distribution budget for this year will hit a record $400,000.00. Those interested in participating in this “back-to-basics” tzeddakah in this time of crisis can click here to donate online through Tomchei Shabbos’s secure server or contact the Tomchei Shabbos offices directly at 1-866-210-5100. Tax-deductible contributions can be made payable to Tomchei Shabbos of Lakewood and mailed to 212 Second Street – Suite 403, Lakewood NJ 08701.

(Dov Gordon – YWN)

2 Responses

  1. And please don’t leave nasty comments about yeshivaleit working for a living… many of these are people who left Kolel and are pretty new to the workplace. The only jobs available are minimal wages and now even many of those jobs were cut.

  2. What a shame there are so many in need of financial assistance, this added pressure/anxiety cannot produce a healthy home environment. I pray those that are capable of helping should do so. (and be blessed for doing so)

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