Met Council, NY Legislators Ask for Increased Funding for Kosher Food in NY’s Emergency Programs
By Yehudit Garmaise
Leading New York legislators and the Met Council on Jewish Poverty urged Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state legislature, in a letter, to increase the state funding to ensure that kosher and halal food, which are in high demand, comprise 20% of the the state’s emergency food programs.
NY state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie wrote to the governor after the Met Council not only claimed food for New Yorkers who observe dietary food laws “has been historically underfunded and under-recognized,” but released a study that revealed that of the nearly 128.7 million meals delivered by the GetFoodNYC program, only 13.7% were kosher and 7.2% were halal.
In February, Assembly Member Catalina Cruz (District 39), Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal (District 37), and 33 other New York Assembly members sent to Speaker Heastie a letter that first requested an increase in the state’s kosher and halal food stores for New York families that needed them.
In Boro Park, Masbia Executive Director Alexander Rappaport, who provides food to people of all ethnic background, also reported this his supply of kosher food is running low now that the city’s pandemic relief program stopped sending two to three trailers worth of fresh produce every week.
“That is all gone,” said Rappaport, who said the city’s Department of Social Services, which is funded by the Covid relief money provided by the federal government, is limiting orders of fruits and vegetables.
Masbia is now relying on donors and digging into its reserves of canned and dried foods, PIX11 reported, to make up for the loss of produce.
“It is especially sad that it happened right before Passover, when the need, historically, is the highest,” Rappaport said.