As the coronavirus persists, Jewish Louisville continues to ramp up its community service work.
Since the beginning the social isolation, the Jewish Federation of Louisville has provided meals on wheels to seniors, Jewish Family & Career Services (JFCS) continues to counsel its clients by phone or online and synagogue volunteers have been checking up on, and running errands for, its shut-in congregants.
Now, a more broad-based effort is about to start.
The Temple, Federation and JFCS are partnering on a Household Goods & Personal Needs Drive for the Meyer Food Pantry.
“We’re not focusing on food or perishable items,” said Temple President Reed Weinberg. “It is in-demand essentials, more household goods and personal needs [items].”
Added Deb Frockt, chief executive officer of the JFCS, “it’s an avenue for the Jewish community to do, and to live out our values.”
Among the items needed are adult incontinence supplies, cleaners, toilet paper, tissues, diapers, disinfectant spray, dishwashing liquid, paper towels, shampoo, toothpaste, soap and feminine hygiene products.
Most, if not all, of these items are not covered under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), said Deb Frockt, chief executive officer of the JFCS.
“This is something the pantry has always carried to some degree,” Frockt said. Now, “they are more important than ever.”
The two-week drive, which will run from May 15 to 29, is designed with social distancing in mind.
Two drop-off points will accept donations: One at The Temple’s Klein Center, the other at the old Anshei Sfard building on the JCC campus. At both sites, donors can drive up, drop off their donations themselves, then leave.
“Everything is self-serve,” Frockt said, “so people should be prepared to unload.”
The Anshei Sfard location will be open around the clock at its drop-off window; the Klein Center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in its vestibule.
They can also order items through e-commerce and specify a site for the carrier to deliver them.
In addition to the Anshei Sfard building, the Federation is providing marketing resources for the drive and promoting it among its members.
While The Temple, Federation and JFCS are partnering on the project, Reed said he hopes it grows beyond those three entities.
“Anyone in the community can participate in this whether they’re in the Jewish community or outside the Jewish community,” he said.
He said now is the right time to have an impact on people most in need.
“Because of the and COVID crisis, the people most affected are people who require the service of the Meyer Food Pantry.”
There is no set goal for the drive, though Frockt said the JFCS has plenty of storage space during the pandemic.
“Because we’re not in our rooms [at the JFCS building],” she said, “we have almost infinite room to store goods.”
Want to help?
For more information, contact Rabbi Diane Tracht at 502-452-6341 or DTracht@jfcslouisville.org, or Ashley Matanich at 502-212-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.