Rising costs have contributed to a 5 percent jump in clientele this past year at the Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Family Table food program – which provides kosher food to local Jewish and interfaith families on the North Shore and Greater Boston.
Jewish Family & Children’s Service serves 650 households in Greater Boston, and distributes food once a month in Marblehead at Temple Sinai. To enter the program, an individual must earn within 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and reside in one of the dozens of communities that JF&CS serves.
“Our primary mission is to serve the Jewish community, and to especially help people who need kosher food,” said Bernice Behar, director of the Family Table.
On April 2, the Family Table will distribute a special Passover bounty to North Shore clients that will include matzah, matzah meal, gefilte fish, horseradish, macaroons, grape juice, matzah ball soup mix, potato pancake mix and olive oil. That’s in addition to the regular assortment of groceries that are given out each month and last about a week.
The Family Table distributes food in Canton and Waltham in addition to Marblehead. It also operates the Family Table Marketplace in Waltham, where people who are in need of food can shop every week.
“We see a steady flow of people who are contacting us,” said Behar. “Between the rising cost in food, the high cost of health care, and the continued pressure people feel from housing costs, it’s a struggle for a lot of people to make ends meet.”
The organization began giving out food 30 years ago. About 80 percent of those who receive food from the Family Table are Jewish. On the North Shore, it serves about 100 clients. About half are Russian-speaking residents who are originally from the former Soviet Union. According to Behar, most of the clients come from Lynn, Peabody and Salem. Θ
For more information about the Family Table, call 781-693-5593.