(JTA) — The head of one of New York’s largest Jewish charities wants food pantry workers to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines.
David Greenfield, the CEO of Met Council, said pantry workers should be treated like public-facing supermarket staff, who are eligible for the vaccine in New York state in the latest distribution phase.
“These pantry workers are people who interact with hundreds of people every day at their own risk and literally hand the food to the neediest New Yorkers,” Greenfield said in a statement Thursday. “They deserve to be given immediate access to the vaccine.”
Met Council’s Kosher Food Network, with 40 pantries, is the largest kosher food network for the needy in the country. The latest pantry, opened earlier this month in the borough of Queens, serves the city’s immigrant Bukharian Jewish community.
Pantries in Albany, the state capital, are also pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for their workers, who are mostly volunteers, to get vaccinated.