Community You Can Believe In

Food Pantry

Beth El has a long history of involvement with and support for the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry at Jewish Family Services. You’ll find a bin for food donations at the front entry door and a list of desired items at the end of this page. Hunger is, sadly, ever-present in our communities, including West Hartford and Farmington Valley; the extra can or box of food you buy when you shop will find a welcome home.

Special Food Drive Initiatives

There are many different ways you can help.

A special food drive is held each year during the High Holiday season. Beth El members are encouraged to bring bags of food to the synagogue prior to Yom Kippur. As we fast, we think of those in our community for whom hunger is a part of everyday life. Volunteers, including learners from our religious educational program and Solomon Schechter Day School, help sort and transport the food on the Sunday morning after Yom Kippur. Please come and join our sorting team.

Every year the religious educational program sponsors a cereal drive. Learners bring one or more boxes of cereal when they come to temple. Congregants are invited to participate as well. Watch Temple Topics and the Shabbat Leaflet for an announcement of this drive and bring your cereal boxes to the educational program. 
 
The Beth El Women's Network created a program for Bat/Bar Mitzvah families to further support the pantry. For $150, Women's Network will decorate food baskets in place of traditional flower arrangements. This is a wonderful mitzvah, for you are feeding the hungry, decorating the Bimah, and sending a powerful message all at the same time! Many families also create food baskets as their table centerpieces at their Simchas and then donate the baskets to the food pantry.
 
Children are so mindful of hunger in our communities that many request cans of food in lieu of gifts for their birthday parties. As part of the birthday celebration, the children can go to the Pantry or come to Beth El and deliver the food. It’s so heartwarming, and lessons are learned which last a lifetime!
 
All these Beth El mitzvot are truly helping our neighbors. Let’s try to end hunger right in our own backyard! Now that you know what Beth El is doing for the Food Pantry, you should know why we are doing it.
 
The Kosher Food Pantry was founded in 2002 when it became apparent there was a need in the community for people who keep kosher to have a place to get food assistance. Over the years, the Food Pantry has extended its reach and now serves people regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation. 
 
The Kosher Food Pantry distributes thousands of dollars of food each month. Supermarket gift cards, cash and checks in all denominations are gratefully accepted. 100% of your donations are used directly for the pantry items purchased.
 
Below is a list of foods, cleaning & household products & toiletries that are needed. All food has to be unopened & KOSHER. A large box is located at the entrance of Beth El for the collection of these items. About ¾ of all prepackaged food products are kosher. Look for the hechsher symbol. Some of the popular ones are shown below:

kosher symbols
 
Canned vegetables & Canned fruit – preferably in juice or light syrup
Juice – Apple or Grape, Gatorade (fruit punch flavor)
Coffee reg. & decaf, Flavored reg. & decaf tea bags
Cereal, Crackers, Cookies
Pasta Sauce -  (Most Barilla, Emeril’s & Scalafini sauces are kosher.  Francisco Rinaldi (marinara & tomato & basil) and Price Chopper Vodka marinara are kosher).
Macaroni & Cheese Mix (Fould’s, Tradition or Wacky Mac), Pasta
Near East or Manischewitz rice, Couscous mixes
Peanut butter
Solid white tuna fish in water, canned salmon, tinned sardines
Canned soup
Baking mixes & frosting
Salad dressing, mayonnaise & oil 
 
Cleaning & Household Supplies
Glass cleaner, All-purpose cleaner (Fantastic, 409, etc.)
Toilet bowl cleaner, Bathroom cleaner
Scrubbing powder (Bon Ami, Ajax, etc.) Sponges, Brillo, SOS pads
Dish detergent, Laundry detergent
Toilet paper, paper towels
Toothpaste, toothbrushes
Disposable razors, deodorant
 
Thank you for your mitzvot and helping out your neighbors. For more info please call: Sharon Levine-Shein at (860) 677-9704.