Volunteers deliver thousands of free Hanukkah meals to Holocaust survivors in New York City

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During the holiday season, volunteers gathered at a warehouse in Brooklyn to fill thousands of boxes with food. Meant to help low-income seniors celebrate the holidays, the food will be hand-delivered to thousands of homes, homes of Holocaust survivors.

This is a project of the Met Council, New York’s largest kosher food network. Met Council CEO David Greenfield told CBS News that there are an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Holocaust survivors in New York City. “Unfortunately, many of them are low-income and live alone,” Greenfield said.

The Met Council is dedicated to making sure these survivors aren’t alone, especially while on vacation.

“I think it’s especially important for people who unfortunately need to be alone on vacation to have a sense of the holiday and know that people are thinking of you,” Greenfield said.

During the holiday season, volunteers gathered at a warehouse in Brooklyn to box up thousands of food items and hand them out to Holocaust survivors.

CBS News/Met Council

The Met Council originally started delivering food to survivors in March 2020 when the pandemic hit.At first they Deliver food to 500 Holocaust survivors every weekaccording to Greenfield.

“And then I realized that the need was actually much greater,” he said. “So now we’ve expanded our program…we’re delivering 2,100 food packages every week to Holocaust survivors throughout the New York area.

The Met Council isn’t just on vacation. Volunteers are always packing food for those in need. They supply New York pantries with his £20 million of kosher food each year.

It also operates a kosher food truck, delivers groceries to low-income families once a week, and hosts events for low-income seniors.

Volunteers write Hanukkah notes that are included in survivor food crates.

CBS News/Met Council

However, while on vacation, survivors will receive an additional gift inside their food box. “We have volunteers write notes, so they write notes like ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ and ‘Happy Hanukkah,'” Greenfield said. While they’re coming in, there was once something called the Holocaust, and there are people who survived it, and it was terrible, and we’re learning that we have to give back.”

Greenfield says food isn’t the only thing that matters to recipients. “We’ve actually gotten feedback from people that the best part of their week is when volunteers show up and drop off food, greet them and chat with them for a few minutes,” he said. I got

The Met Council delivers 2,100 food packages each week to Holocaust survivors throughout the New York area.

CBS News/Met Council

Volunteers also feel the impact of their work. “There was a teenager who delivered food to this elderly woman’s house,” said Greenfield. “She has formed friendships and she actually writes and calls regularly with this 90-year-old Holocaust survivor of hers.”

“I have a real connection with her, I get advice from her and keep in touch,” he said. “And she really feels like she has someone in her life who not only cares about her, but who cares about her.”

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