NEW YORK— In the weeks leading up to Passover, Met Council, America’s largest Jewish charity dedicated to combatting poverty, distributed nearly $10 million in kosher for Passover provisions to more than 321,000 people suffering from food insecurity.

This year’s Passover food distribution, America’s largest, was made possible by the generous supporters of Met Council, its partnership with the UJA Federation of New York, and millions of eggs that were donated by Deb El Food Products. The free Kosher for Passover food packages, distributed at more than 207 locations throughout the five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, Connecticut, the Capital Region (Albany) and Northern New Jersey, included matzah, kosher for Passover chicken, gefilte fish, eggs, tuna, grape juice, apple juice, tomato sauce, apple sauce, jam, oil, pickles, lemon juice, macaroons, imitation vinegar, sugar, potato starch and a wide variety of produce.  

“Food has literally never been more expensive in our lifetimes. We literally work for six months in order to achieve America’s largest free kosher for Passover distribution. I am so grateful to our dedicated staff, volunteers, donors and board members for their incredible support of our unprecedented Kosher for Passover food distribution program” said Met Council CEO David G. Greenfield. “We’re extremely thankful to all those who’ve partnered with us to help support our community’s most vulnerable this holiday season.”

More than 1,237 volunteers, and many of New York's political and communal leaders, participated in the efforts to help distribute the Passover food packages.

US Senator Charles Schumer, Mayor Eric Adams, NYS Attorney General Letitia James, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, Congress Members Grace Meng, Nicole Malliotakis, Dan Goldman, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens DA Melinda Katz, Bronx DA Darcel Clark, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, State Senators Iwen Chu, Julia Salazar, Jabari Brisport, Joseph Addabbo, Leroy Comrie, Kevin Parker, Assembly Members George Alvarez, Kenny Burgos, Lester Chang, Manny De Los Santos, Harvey Epstein, Andrew Hevesi, Michael Novakhov, Yudelka Tapia, Helene Weinstein, David Weprin, Dan Rosenthal, Rebecca Seawright, Jo Anne Simon, William Colton, Simcha Eichenstein, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams,  Council Members Eric Dinowitz, Mercedes Narcisse, Inna Vernikov, David Carr, Joseph Borelli, Vickie Paladino, Kalman Yeger, Selvena Brooks-Powers, Lynn Schulman, Linda Lee, James Gennaro, Joann Ariola, Sandra Ung, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Ari Kagan, Farah Louis, Marjorie Velázquez, Keith Powers, Crystal Hudson, Chi Ossé, Julie Menin and Lincoln Restler joined Met Council leaders and volunteers at various distribution in all five boroughs throughout the last couple of weeks.   

Due to inflation, this year’s Passover distribution cost Met Council 18-percent more than the year before.

“Without each and every one of our partners in this tremendous effort we wouldn’t have been able to serve as many of those suffering from food insecurity this Passover,” said Jessica Chait, the managing director of Met Council’s food programs and policy. “From Staten Island to Westchester, from Queens to Albany, it's tremendously humbling to see how many people came out to help their neighbors with their time and with their donations.”  

“While continuing to contend with limited supplies of fresh protein, ongoing shortages and delays in supply chains, and the end of many emergency funding programs, we are seeing an increased need for our food pantry services — even when compared to recent years,” she added.

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Founded in 1972, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) has been fighting poverty and promoting the social welfare of New York’s struggling populations including the impoverished, immigrants and the elderly. Its “Kosher Food Network” is the largest kosher food pantry program globally. Its social services programs support tens of thousands of New Yorkers through direct assistance and by helping to register them for applicable government programs. These include programs supporting victims of domestic violence, the elderly, Holocaust survivors, and those experiencing other financially based crises. Met Council is also the largest owner and operator of affordable housing in the Jewish community. 

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