MOSCOW (May. 14)
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee began a new massive food distribution Committee began a new massive food distribution effort in Moscow.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture donated the food — more than 6,000 tons of rice, beans, vegetable oil, flour and evaporated milk.
The JDC said it was chosen by the government to distribute the program because of the 78-year-old organization’s long history in the field of international humanitarian aid.
The first package was presented Thursday to the mayor of Moscow, Gavriel Popov, by Ralph Goldman, the honorary executive vice president of the JDC.
“We deliver the food to local charities who will give them to the elderly, war veterans, single mothers, invalids and bed-ridden people,” said Goldman.
He explained that the food is sent to the charities in sealed trucks, and an elaborate monitoring system verifies the identity of the recipients, to ensure that the food reaches the needy individuals.
About 500,000 packages are to be distributed in Moscow over the next few weeks.
Mayor Popov thanked the American government and the JDC. While opening a food package to examine its contents, Popov commented, “Whatever the content is — I can tell you it is needed.”
Victor Gulyashko, deputy chairman of the Commission on International Humanitarian Aid of the Russian Federation, thanked the JDC on behalf of the Russian Government.
In a meeting with Goldman, Gulyashko praised the approach that favored working with local organizations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, as well as in the regions, “making it possible for the Russian organizations themselves to determine the priorities of the individuals in need.”
U.S. Ambassador Robert Strauss received a report on this new endeavor from representatives of the JDC and the Agriculture Department.