When it comes to the weeks before Passover, three words are most important to Masbia’s Executive Director. They are: logistics, logistics, logistics. But this year, there’s something even more critical - sponsors, sponsors, sponsors. The Charoset Drive is what Masbia calls those weeks leading up to Passover.
Throughout the last year, Masbia has been able to eliminate a lot of the stigma of the breadline by using DoorDash delivery service to feed families in need. Masbia has since seen a large uptick in religious families in-need signing up for emergency food. That cumulative monthly increase is now an enormous challenge. It is not only the logistics, it is actually the supply.
With the cost of food still at a historical high, in addition to logistics, it is also about finding more sponsors and driving a hard bargain with vendors who want to supply food. That’s why Masbia’s Executive Director traveled all the way to Pennsylvania to a kosher slaughterhouse that is under new ownership.
Just when Masbia had almost given up on including kosher-for-Passover chicken in this year’s distribution, the Mesorah Farm poultry slaughterhouse offered chicken at a very reasonable price.
“It is my duty and commitment to all Masbia donors that I will take their dollar and stretch it as far as possible. At the same time, I want to make sure that whatever we end up buying with those charity dollars is extremely appreciated by the recipient. Therefore, I felt an obligation to visit the Mesorah Farms plant that is recently under new ownership before placing a gigantic order with them. I wanted to get a feel of their level of kashrus. I wanted to get a good sense of the quality and an exact understanding of the packaging, since most of it will be delivered on motorcycles via DoorDash,” said Alexander Rapaport, Executive Director of Masbia Soup Kitchen Network. “At the end of the visit, we placed an order for three trailers of poultry products.”
“I was extremely impressed with what I saw. The plant is certified kosher under the CRC (Brooklyn), also known as Hisachdas and the OU. The new owners brought a spirit of improvement to the plant with both the level of quality and kashrus. I met with the rabbinical staff, the slaughterers and butchers, and was very impressed with everything,” Rapaport added.
The chicken is only a fraction of what’s needed to make the Charoset Drive a success. Masbia needs help in making sure that thousands of families get fresh produce, eggs, and dairy products as well. The Masbia Charoset Drive has a crowdfunding campaign set up with a goal to raise $1,494,000 that will enable them to serve about 10,000 families ahead of Passover. You can check it out here: www.masbia.org/passover.
By Laura Alan