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Jewish volunteers distribute food packages to families ahead of Passover

The Jewish Community Council of North London prepared food parcels for thousands of people ahead of the religious holiday.

Members of London’s Orthodox Jewish community spent three days distributing hundreds of food packages to families ahead of Passover.

The Jewish Community Council of North London prepared parcels for more than 600 families, each with an average of eight people, to ensure people had the correct food to eat throughout the holiday, which begins on Saturday.

Levi Schapiro, a founding director of the JCC, said the annual religious celebration is “costly” because it requires certain foods or food made in a certain way.

(Levi Schapiro/Jewish Community Council of North London)

He told the PA news agency: “It is a major struggle because it is an eight-day holiday and Passover is a very costly holiday and because there are limited foods you can eat on Passover.

“Many families have lost their father to Covid and in the Jewish community, it usually the father that brings in the money, while mothers look after the children.”

Food, including fruit juices, fish, meat and matzah bread, was distributed by a team of 40 volunteers, as part of a food initiative launched by the JCC last year, and supported by funding from FareShare.

(Levi Schapiro/Jewish Community Council of North London)

Rabbi Schapiro said the food given out was “not second class food”.

He said: “These people have lost family members or income as a result of Covid and it’s going to take them a long time to get back on their feet.

“They are going to have Passover sedar and nobody is going to be sitting at the top of the table, so just imagine how painful it is for those families.

“And so we want to make them feel good and bring good quality food.

Some of the volunteers with the Mayor of Hackney (Levi Schapiro/Jewish Community Council of North London)

“We want people to know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed about asking for help, there are good times ahead of us coming but we are here to help and carry you through this difficult time.”

Rabbi Schapiro added: “Those children are going to sleep tonight knowing that they have food, that they are not hungry and they can eat and have enough to pull them through the next couple of weeks.

“We never say no to a family. We always find a way to figure it out and to make it work if a family reaches out to us for help.”

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