Federally-funded Free Kosher Lunch Program for 10,000 Children in New York Starts July 1

Free kosher lunches will be provided during July and August for an estimated 10,000 young people throughout the five boroughs of New York City in a program funded by the federal Department of Agriculture and directed by the Hassidic Corporation for Urban Concerns, Rabbi S.B. Gorodetsky, corporation chairman said today. The program is believed to be the first such kosher lunch project.

Rabbi Gorodetsky said the program has started with the assumption that 10,000 kosher lunches will be needed daily five days a week. He estimated the federal funding for the program at around $200,000. All yeshivas and Hebrew schools which have summer study programs, as well as camps, day care centers and structured and unstructured youth programs are eligible, he said.

David C. Farber, executive director, said the corporation was mailing out letters to 500 schools, camps and other interested organizations, describing the kosher lunch program and requesting information on the number of children in each school or organization. A minimum of 100 lunches daily is required for participation, he said.

The lunches will be of the type A variety, which Farber said meets USDA’s highest standard of nutritional value. The lunches will be produced, packaged and delivered by Sabbath observers. Included is a choice of either dairy or meat lunches, with only glatt kosher meat in the latter lunches, he said. A kosher caterer has been selected by the corporation as low bidder. The corporation has submitted this bid to the USDA which accepted it, he said.

Once the program, which begins July 1, is in operation, a list of names and addresses and number of kosher meals will be sent to the caterer, who will make the deliveries, Farber said. While the program is part of the USDA’s summer lunch program, it is unique in that the preparation of the lunches will be under rabbinical supervision, he said. Rabbi Gorodetsky said the program was one which recognized “the needs of the traditional Jewish communities.” He said the United Bronx Parents was serving as the supervisory agency and fiscal conduit for the kosher lunch program. The corporation is funded by the federal Office of Economic Opportunity.

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