Cost of living crisis means thousands still rely on food parcels

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Cost of living crisis means thousands still rely on food parcels

United Synagogue has delivered around 7,000 welfare bundles to 800 families in the last 12 months

Collecting Pesach food for Jewish families, March 2023. United Synagogue Chesed
Collecting Pesach food for Jewish families, March 2023. United Synagogue Chesed

Thousands of people who are struggling, vulnerable or lonely are turning to the welfare department of the United Synagogue this Pesach.

US Chesed and the charity’s synagogue volunteers have delivered 6,962 food parcels to people in need over the last 12 months. The charity is running a matched giving campaign next week (7-9 April) to raise the £500,000 needed to run the services required in the coming year.

In the past few years, US Chesed has seen a dramatic rise in the number of Jewish families asking for support to make ends meet. The charity used to support around 600 families at Pesach time. This year 800 families have asked the charity for support – a figure which is only 12 less than last year.

Pesach food parcels to be given this year will contain more than 20 different items including matzah (donated by Rakusen’s), grape juice and fruit juice, cheese and tuna, tea and coffee, jam and butter, and some chocolate and biscuits.

The United Synagogue is also expecting to continue playing its part supporting Ukrainian refugees and others through the charity’s existing asylum seeker centres.

Chesed volunteers making food for people in need. Pic: United Synagogue

Michelle Minsky, head of chesed at the United Synagogue, said: “US Chesed helps others every day of the year. In addition to our essential food parcels, our volunteers call or visit elderly people living alone or help them with shopping as well as providing bereavement befriending or organising meal rotas for new parents.

“The cost of living crisis has not gone away despite falling inflation and thousands of people still rely on us for financial, practical and emotional help. We need our generous donors to step up once again and help us raise enough money to ensure that US Chesed can be there for every family that needs us – and to support our work beyond the Jewish community.”

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