Richmond synagogue teams with Interfaith Council to feed families during spring break

Richmond synagogue teams with Interfaith Council to feed families during spring break
(All photos by Mindy Pines) Jane Kassa, Temple Beth Hillel volunteer, helps pack boxes with produce.

Volunteers at Richmond’s lone synagogue, Temple Beth Hillel, packed boxes filled with food Tuesday in order to feed as many as 90 local, low-income families during next week’s spring break, when kids cannot access subsidized school meals.

On Wednesday, families with children in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) will begin to receive produce boxes delivered by charitable group White Pony Express, an all-volunteer Sufi organization.

For the last three years, Temple Beth Hillel has been packing meals to feed families with children during the winter break, a program called Food for Thought. Recently, representatives of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County (ICCC)contacted the synagogue about teaming to deliver food boxes during spring break. ICCC runs the successful charitable program, “Let’s Feed the Kids.”

Cindy Jaconette, far right, of Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County’s ‘Let’s Feed the Kids Program,’ with volunteers.

The resulting 2015 Spring Break Food Program will feed more than 500 children and adults in Contra Costa County.

“It seems there is more interest in news stories about student hunger when the public schools close during the  winter holiday vacation– a time when children’s access to free reduced-priced  meals are not available to them,” said Temple Beth Hillel spokesperson Audrey Berger. “However, that same food assistance safety net is not available to students during the spring break or any other vacation period.”

Berger said she is proud that a diverse group of faith organizations has formed a unique partnership for this common goal.



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