September’s High Holiday season marked the 25th anniversary of Operation Isaiah, the annual food drive benefiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Through Operation Isaiah, the Jewish community has donated more than 820,000 pounds of food since the program’s inception.
Now some of that food will come back to members of the Jewish community.
Under a new partnership, the food bank is transferring kosher food it receives to the Kosher Food Pantry of Jewish Family & Career Services.
On Monday, Oct. 5, more than 40 volunteers from the JF&CS staff joined with members of partner synagogues and participants in the Teen Community Service program of the Marcus Jewish Community Center to sort through the Operation Isaiah donations for kosher items.
The group packed 7,104 pounds of food to bring to the Kosher Food Pantry.
Last year JF&CS served nearly 1,800 people through the pantry and distributed 18,000 pounds of nonperishable kosher food items.
“This will have a tremendous impact on the clients we serve,” JF&CS CEO Rick Aranson said. “Usually in the fall our shelves are bare due to the community supporting Operation Isaiah. Now, not only will our kosher pantry be overflowing, but we will have resources to help our clients in so many ways. When they can put food on their tables from the Kosher Food Pantry, it frees up money they can put toward their rent and other bills.”
Aranson said the partnership is an example of like-minded organizations working together to deepen their impact on the community.
“It’s important to us that we provide foods that are nutritious and meet the specific needs of the community,” said Kyle Waide, the president and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “This new food sorting opportunity with JF&CS is the perfect example of working with our partners to not only offer the most nutritious foods, but also support their clients’ needs and preferences.”