The Met Council on Jewish Poverty, America’s largest Jewish charity dedicated to fighting poverty, secured a federal funding boost of $1 million from House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
Jeffries joined Met Council CEO David Greenfield and Rabbi Avrohom Hecht to distribute 500 food boxes and fresh produce in Canarsie to celebrate the funding, which the Met Council said was “vital” to continuing its work.
“We are so thankful for this vital funding from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who has always been a champion for Met Council and for the Jewish community,” said Greenfield. “We know that Rep. Jeffries always has our backs in Washington and fights hard to make sure people have access to food, meals, and the services they need. We are grateful for his leadership and look forward to our continued partnership.”
The $1 million boost will boost the organization’s Emergency Kosher & Halal food program in particular — as well as myriad other services offered to thousands of family across the district. According to Gothamist, 20% of people who called 311 in need of food assistance during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic needed halal or kosher food, but resources were limited.
In response, the organization stepped up its offerings and called on state and federal officials to designate more money to programs that offered halal and kosher options.
In the last year, the Met Council helped get over 21 million pounds of food to more than 250,000 New Yorkers and provided services — like assistance signing up for benefits or access to affordable housing — to over 325,000 people in need.
Monthly, it serves over 20,000 people in the district, nearly half of whom are from minority and immigrant communities.
“Met Council has really been a shelter in the time of storm for the people that I represent here in the 8th Congressional District, particularly East New York, Canarsie, Marine Park, Brighton Beach and Coney Island,” Jeffries said in a statement. “Met Council has done tremendous work — but that work was urgently necessary when a once in a century pandemic struck our community, struck the nation, and struck the world.”