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‘Foodraiser’ teams shop to stock kosher pantry
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‘Foodraiser’ teams shop to stock kosher pantry

The chairs of the Second Annual Supermarket Sweep Foodraiser, from left, Lisa Israel, Elyse Deutsch, and Janice Weinberg, meet to plan the March 14 event.
The chairs of the Second Annual Supermarket Sweep Foodraiser, from left, Lisa Israel, Elyse Deutsch, and Janice Weinberg, meet to plan the March 14 event.

The Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey’s Social Action Committee is calling on community members to “shop till they drop” — for a good cause.

The second annual Supermarket Sweep Foodraiser, to be held Sunday, March 14, will benefit the Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey kosher food pantry in Elizabeth.

The committee and its partner organizations are calling for individuals and teams of all kinds — including families and synagogue members — to shop at ShopRite in Clark between 2 and 4 p.m. and donate the food they buy to the Kosher Food Pantry of Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey.

The event will culminate in a pizza party for participants at JFS headquarters in Elizabeth.

Event cochairs Elyse Deutsch, Lisa Israel, and Janice Weinberg said last year’s foodraiser attracted far more people than they expected, and the need now is greater than it was then.

“We had no idea how many people would come. I was really nervous, but we were pleasantly surprised,” Israel said. “And everyone was so enthusiastic about it. We collected about $6,000 worth of food.”

Deutsch explained they designed the event as a fun way for parents and children to work together on a real mitzva — feeding the hungry. “It was also in line with the federation’s plan to reach out to involve people who might not have been involved, and to give them a way to learn more about what it does,” she said.

Like last year, participants will be given a list of needed kosher food items, along with the latest coupons and special offers.

“It gives the children a way to get involved, finding the items on the list and matching up the coupons,” said Deutsch, who is a semi-retired teacher. All three cochairs agreed that the event also provides a chance for parents to discuss with their kids what it’s like not to have enough money for food, and the value of budgeting even for those who do have enough.

Prizes will be awarded to the team that brings in the most food for their outlay of money and for the organization that fields the largest number of participants. Volunteers will also have a chance to take part in a raffle for a gift basket.

Partnering with the federation on the Foodraiser are the JCC of Central New Jersey, the YM-YWHA of Union County, the Jewish Educational Center, Westfield Hadassah, and local synagogues, including Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation B’nai Israel, Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim, Temple Beth O’r/Beth Torah, Temple Emanu-El and its early education program, Temple Har Shalom and its Mountain Top School, and Temple Sholom.

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