In the true spirit of Kiddush Hashem, Teaneck Deputy Mayor Elie Y Katz and a host of volunteers, with a significant contingent from the Jewish community, hosted a free kosher Thanksgiving lunch to almost 200 seniors, veterans and local families who had nowhere else to go for the holiday.
With certified kosher food donated by Dougie’s, Chopstix, and Butterflake Bakery, the lunch was held at Rain, a sumptuous new state-of-the-art event venue on Cedar Lane in Teaneck.
Katz, who hosted the event in his role as a community activist and not as part of his official duties, worked with co-hosts Gervonn Rice, a Teaneck Council member, and Janice Preschel, director of the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Teaneck. Katz is a co-founder of the pantry along with Daniel Mays, senior pastor of Teaneck Assembly of God Church.
Katz, who is also a local businessman, said he organized the lunch as a response to a community need. “Over the years, as the person who answers the phone for the food pantry, I have received many requests for this kind of luncheon from people who need food as well as people looking to volunteer to help,” he said.
Run strictly through donations, the food pantry is staffed by volunteers and is committed to helping Teaneck residents who are in need of assistance with non-perishable goods. Located at 185 West Englewood Avenue in Teaneck, the pantry is open from 12:30-2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 6-7:30 on Thursday evenings. Food products can also be donated at those times. At other times, non-perishable food items can be dropped off at the Teaneck Moose Lodge, located at 201 West Englewood Avenue, or at Chopstix Kosher Chinese Take-Out, 172 West Englewood Avenue.
For more information on how to benefit from, donate to or volunteer for the Helping Hands Pantry, Katz can be reached at 201-715-5179 or at [email protected].
“We are always looking for volunteers to help staff the pantry or our office or just to be available to pick up food for us from merchants during the week,” added Katz.
Susan L. Rosenbluth is the editor of TheJewishVoiceAndOpinion.com.